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POEM: The Mourning Dove on Memorial Day

May 21, 2014


In this post before Memorial Day weekend, I am including a new poem and a reprise of the very short poem which I wrote for Memorial Day of last year.



The Mourning Dove on Memorial Day


Dedicated to my dad–James F. Massa (1913-1997)


by Alice Jane-Marie Massa



On Memorial Day,

some see the eagle swiftly ribbon through the sky;

but I hear the mourning dove

and his comforting coo.

He sings softly on this sad day,

as I remember and honor you.


That special, melodious mourning dove

peers at the hearts broken with love.

He picks up the pieces to build his nest;

then, he sings for all who lie in rest.


What is done for those who walk on the dew-misted grass

to the tombstones

on which are carved letters of names

of those who served, as well as loved?

Are those teardrops or raindrops

on the Indiana limestone?

Do the angels

shed tears of rain

on Memorial Day,

or do they flutter wings of flowers

over the lands

so that hands can carry the flowers to the graves?


Umbrellas are at attention.

At even a mention of your name in my heart,

I hear, I hear the beats.

Is that sound the beating of a broken heart,

or do I hear the beating of angel’s wings?


Did the angels or the mourning dove come to whisper?

Put away the umbrellas,

the handkerchiefs, the tears.

Bring bright carnations and lilacs and love.

Each flag and flower gives a blessed wave

to your veteran, cherished and honored at this grave.

Forget the parting and painful days:

remember the gift of good memories,

and treasure these tender moments please

On this Memorial Day and always.



NOTE:  The following very short poem appeared in the spring/summer 2013 issue of the online publication Magnets and Ladders.  In the current issue of Magnets and Ladders, you may read two other poems of mine, as well as my column about grammar and punctuation.  Additionally, you will find many other creative poems, short stories, and essays in this biannual publication.  Please visit; then, simply click on the link for the 2014 spring/summer issue or a previous issue.



Monogrammed Prayers on Memorial Day


by Alice Jane-Marie Massa



I am a visitor at the graves—

Ave Marias on Memorial Day.

Taps and tulips are there;

peonies and patriotism are there.

Where do I place

the monogrammed prayers?



God bless all whom we remember with love and gratitude on this Memorial Day!




May 21, 2014, Wednesday



From → Uncategorized

  1. May God bless the fallen, and may we never forget the love and devotion that surrounds their memory. Thanks Alice.


  2. Carole permalink

    Those are lovely, Alice! I always think of your and Mary’s beautiful stories about the mourning doves. May you have a peaceful Memorial Day weekend.

    • Hi, Carole–On Wednesday evening when Zoe and I were on a “Wordwalk” and I was trying to think of how I would respond to your comment, Mother Nature gave me an answer. As Zoe and I walked parallel with the park that is on the lake bluff, I heard the coo of my first mourning dove of the season. What a coincidence! Or was it? Talk to you soon–A & Z

  3. Alice, I liked both your poems. I think I’ll see if someone can put flowers on my late husband’s grave this weekend, even though he’s not a war veteran. He is buried in his hometown of Fowler, Colorado, about 500 miles south of where I am, Sheridan, Wyoming. Last year, I called a flower shop in Fowler, and they agreed to do it. Some friends of Bill’s who live close by said they would do it so maybe I’ll call them instead this year. Thank you for a moving post.

    • Abbie–Thanks for your comments. I wish you a peaceful Memorial Day as you remember your husband. Take care–Alice

  4. I have such vivid memories of “Decoration Day, ” which Memorial Day was known as in our family. Our mother and our aunts would drive to the cemeteries in pouring rain or in warm sunshine with the trunks of their cars filled to the brim with beautiful peonies from their gardens to adorn the graves of loved ones with huge bouquets. Our beloved family members will be in my thoughts this Memorial Day.
    Love, Mary

    • Mary–In addition to the peonies, I picture in my mind the wide variety of tulips from Aunt Zita’s flower garden. She is in my thoughts so often, but especially on May 20–her birthday (1908). Thanks for your comment. A & Z

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