Force

by William Heyen

Iwo Jima, 1945 — a small boat intercepted
a transport evacuating a wounded Marine,
asked for the casualty, was granted permission:
Captain Charles C. Anderson
carried his only son,

Sergeant Charles C. Anderson, Jr., to his own vessel.
The boy had lost both legs & one arm
from a land mine.  “I’m feeling pretty good,”
he told his father.  “I wonder how Mother
will take this.”  Then he died.

In Washington, a Navy chaplain visited Mrs. Anderson.
The moment she saw him she asked,
“Is it my husband, or my son?”  The chaplain told her.
“A force stronger than ours
has taken charge,” she said,

“and our beloved son resides with us on earth
no more.”  She dressed & went to work
as a hospital volunteer.