From the June 2008 Idaho Observer:

Dying to Say I’m Sorry

In this world, actions speak far louder than our words.

Or so some wise men say and I have always heard…

Still, with these few lines I offer a humble explanation.

To answer – or exercise – any lingering, haunted questions.

As to why I was dying to say I’m sorry till the very end.

Do you recall the days they slew a mother and son: the Weavers?

We paid our taxes, knowing this nation’s laws could not be clearer.

We should have refused, when no one in power was thrown in prison!

How can you continue? Knowing it all goes towards your own destruction.

To love and be loved despite all slight and harsh complaints.

Was a major challenge, due to some serious constraints.

Unforeseen, while in the flower of our youth.

As two lives were joined and we recited timeless truths.

The ecstasy that was once, simply, just she and I.

Grew to include three children: a fine domesticated life!

Though tinged by tragedy, that proved beyond repair.

Autism’s curse – a disillusion we were destined all to share.

Our love sounded deeper as their mines floated above and all around us.

Do ya ever wonder? Before they burned them kids alive along with K-resh.

Ya paid yer "fair share" – or more – believin’ this nation was the very best!

Why ya didn’t stop, and wind up in this g-lag along with me? Help pay the real price so our kids could grow up truly free.

Slowly a change stole over her and the country I loved dearly, too.

And realizing why: and what my forefathers had expected me to do…

I redoubled my efforts to damp down their rising, heated threats.

Igniting a fire-storm for which all blame I won’t accept!

For despite the sparks, their flares – in the dark, her worried whispered hints.

My angry resolve of steel sought out their hardest, hateful flints.

By comprehending, their silent but brutal lashes felt far too harsh.

Which led to battle where I fell wielding my own indignant torch.

Did you ever think? Before wars in Afghanistan and in Iraq, they’d desecrate September’s deaths with BIG LIES to justify attacks! Do you still pay tribute

To those who thieve and kill in all of our names?

I no longer could lest my children find their own father was partly to blame.

Now seeking to express my strongest protest and, oh, so many sorrows.

For having fought – and lost – on the bright fields of our own tomorrows.

I have, unlike you, caught sight of God’s fast receding soul.

And in this place find dying to say I’m sorry one last worthy goal.

Still, each day till then, I’ll pray for a better world and hope.

It wasn’t all in vain if, at the least, you understand my pain.

And like Him who pardons all our sins,

You, too, someday, may forgive me.

Wayne Costigan (April 2008)

Loretto, Pennsylvania