Namesakes

The men that I am named from are both dead.
Strange how they were somehow half my age,
lithe with life and full of dreams ahead;

that they were unfulfilled on rugby fields,
yearned for subtle conversations
overflowing with their ideals.

They volunteered and boarded ships
that took their guileless notions
out to dangerous sands where lips

chafed in winds the guns unleashed.
And they were held accountable, sage
beyond the years their deaths released.

So they aged but wisdom came too late,
mannered in a cold machine gun's strafe,
a landmine's swift and cruel fate,

with all their good intentions left unsaid.
My father's always questioned why he's safe,
when the men that I am named from are both dead.