The following was written by a fellow classmate from my time at the police academy.
[line]Freedom Now And Then I shall build me a house with no windows and doors
This house I shall build has no roof and no floors.
I shall lock myself inside and swallow the key
And fall down to earth, propped up on one knee.

I shall close my eyes tight and imagine a day
A time long ago of which men dare not say.
Through many a day, week and year I do fly
Till finding myself under a cold moonlit sky.

Around me are tents and war-weary men
Wearing torn tattered clothes barely covering their skin.
A musket in one hand and a fire in their eye
Men who knew that tomorrow they too may die.

Nearby was a tent, mighty steed tied outside
Inside was a man who from his heart cried.
“Dear God give us strength, give us wisdom and might,
For tomorrow, together for freedom we fight.”

I crept to the tent and whispered one word
“General?” I said, unsure if he heard.
“Amen” he did say and with that said, “Come in”
“What troubles you son?” he said with a grin.

“General Washington, sir, before tomorrow you go
There’s something I think you really should know.
In days yet to come, where this night I do stand
Two centuries from now in this then-sovereign land.”

“Men will be selfish, forget what you’ve done
They will throw away freedom, the freedom you’ve won.
They‘ll remember your name, not the cause of your men
They’ll forget why you’re here, where you’ll go, where you’ve been.”

“Sir, I don’t know if your time you should waste
Let your men go back home, away in great haste.
Two centuries from now we will give it away
Just thought you should know before another wasted day.”

He was quiet for a time, no doubt in deep thought
There was much on his mind, a war to be fought.
He looked up at me with joy in his eyes
A look from a man both mighty and wise.

“Thank you, my friend”, he said with a smile
“But you don’t understand why we fight this next mile.
Men come and they go like the wind that does blow
But for freedom they will fight through the rain, sleet and snow.”

“Our purpose here is much beyond you and me
We fight this good fight on land and on sea.
For those long since gone and those not yet born
We struggle with pride ‘gainst this tyrannical storm.”

“Our purpose is freedom so that all may live free
Both two centuries hence and my family and me.
Our cause it is right, it is just, it is true
But when the battle is done it will be up to you.”

“We hand you a torch, a beacon in the night
A bright shining star for which you must now fight.
Go back to your time, to your family and home
But remember tomorrow we fight not alone.”

“We fight for your vote and your voice and your cause
And when men do forget encourage them to pause.
Remind them we fight for freedom for all
We gladly shed blood for this our true call.”

“So go back to your time and fight YOUR good fight
Side by side with us here on this cold, moonlit night.
We’ve started a war that through time must be fought
You pay now the price for the freedom we’ve bought.”

“But just one thing more ‘fore you leave now our day
Betsy made this for us but with you it should stay.
Take it in your hands, your heart, soul and mind
Gaze at its beauty when the strength you can’t find.”

“It warms me to know that our fight’s not in vain
Many more men will die as we continue to strain.
You’ve come a free man but the fight’s not yet through
200 years hence it will be up to you.”

“Now excuse me dear friend, for some sleep I must get
This fight that we’ve won, we haven’t won yet.”
He turned to his side and blew out the light
I returned once again to the cold, moonlit night.

As I walked through the men, back to my own life
I thanked them each one for their struggle and strife.
But back to my day, away I did fly
As I traveled through time, my heart it did cry.

How soon we forget and plot a new path
In spite of those men and forgetting God’s wrath.
We live in a land that for now remains free
These thoughts plagued my mind as I returned to one knee.

I stood straight and tall, upon my two feet
I whispered “Amen” as I began to repeat.
The last words he said on that cold, moonlit night
My eyes filled with fire, heart primed for a fight.

“This fight that we’ve won, we haven’t won yet”
His words pierced my soul, I will not soon forget.
Even knowing that men may soon give it away
He fought even for them, for his time and our day.

I looked to my hands and was shocked now to find
That majestic old flag, which was given in kind.
The flag was now old, it was tattered and torn
Much like the clothes on those men that were worn.

That flag speaks the story and the story is true
A tale of the fight for the “Red, White and Blue”.
It’s dirty at times and the cost it is high
But the freedom we have, no man can deny.

Tyranny stands at the door and always does knock
Both outside and in, so we too must take stock.
In the freedom we have and the price that was paid
In the men who have died and the flag that was made.

We live in a time with threats far and wide
Even threats from within, as we stand side by side
With free men from that night and free men from this day
With women and children all willing to pay.

The time now is ours and the fight is ours too
The price to be paid is for me and for you.
So stand we together and this fight we shall win
For this fight is for freedom, Freedom Now And Then.

Unpublished work © 2009 by Darrin Neil Wilcox