It was a gray day in my little corner of Alabama today. Much like it was back in 2005 when two Marines in dress blues stood on a porch and rang a doorbell across this town, bearing the news that someone wasn’t coming home. Ever again.
The someone was 19. Not old enough to be served a beer. Old enough to serve his country.
He could have attended college or learned a trade. Got him a wife and watched his kid grow up and play in the red and black at Bulldog stadium under the Friday night lights. Stayed here in Sweet Home and made a life. But he didn’t.
Instead, he’s buried here, under this red clay.
It has always looked gray over there too, at least to me, as I have watched it on the news all these years. Always smokey gray. As if the cover had been removed from the bottomless pit, where the smoke ascends forever and ever, amen.
In the last 48 hours, all that the government of the United States of America had hoped to accomplish (whatever that was) in that God-forsaken place has unraveled. Savagery has returned to the savages.
Somewhere across blue waters, in a place a lot of my fellow Alabamians would be hard-pressed to find on a world map, spilled red blood cries out from yellow sandy ground.
It sounds like a single word: “why?”