Obligation (Acrostic)

One thing leads to another

Blinding our own needs.

Lingering wants and desires go unfulfilled.

Instead we tend to the needs of others,

Giving unselfishly of ourselves;

Agony and ecstasy its progeny.

These are our burdens,

Ignoring them is impossible.

Our sacred duty demands…

Never to shirk your responsibilities.


~~ Dominic R. DiFrancesco ~~


Destitute, Broken

Destitute, broken
Veterans thrown to the streets
Forgotten by all
Do they not deserve much more
Than to be treated like trash
They sacrificed much
Though the cause–questionable
Do we not owe them
Our gratitude and our help
For the part of them they lost
~~ Dominic R. DiFrancesco ~~

Pain You Cannot See

Pain you cannot see,

Can be heard–

In the wavering of words,

Can be seen–

In the worried expression.

Reliving the past in waking dreams;

Speaking to the invisible that seem so real;

Returning to the present awash with anger.

Ravages of war do not always leave visible wounds–

For the visible may be treated with scalpel and stitch.

That which is unseen may be the most devastating of all,

Lasting a lifetime,

Tormenting, demonizing, incapacitating,

Shattering the spirit.

We see this on the streets,

We see this in the shelters,

We see it on the cardboard signs

And in the tin cans held out by dirty hands,

No place is immune.

These are the ones we turn away,

Diverting our eyes,

Ignoring them as a nuisance,

Wishing they would just go away.

Does not their sacrifice grant them better?

They gave when called,

Offering life and limb;

Permitting us the pursuit of our happiness.

Yet what do we offer in return?

Nothing but contempt.


~~ Dominic R. DiFrancesco ~~


So Much Blood

So much blood on my hands,

Dried, old, not my own, but mine none-the-less.

Brothers and sisters–I have died with you on the battlefield,

My heart cries with each beat for your lose,

For the sacrifices made over our centuries.

Each of your gravestones is etched with my name,

I am your pallbearer, your namesake, your progeny.

I place the flowers on your graves,

Not for your sake alone, but for mine,

How else could I repay you for your kindness,

Thanks alone seem so hollow.

Brothers and sisters–I love you,

You are in my every thought and prayer,

Take comfort that you will never be forgotten.


~~ Dominic R. DiFrancesco ~~


Drawn To A Mirage

Drawn to a waterless mirage,

Sustenance proffered from behind a smiling facade,

We long for what was, the honesty, the promise given at inception.

This nation…this world, is not what they envisioned!

Never-the-less, weak-minded and self-absorbed we self-inflict

Over and over and over again.

I too have inflicted myself on more than one occasion,

Placing faith in the faithless, trust in the untrustworthy

Only to have hopes dashed to oblivion.

You also, in honest appraisal, must have done so as well.

When will we wake up to the traitorous criminality of those entrusted with the sacred,

The injustice, the deceit, the blatant prejudice toward the people?

We the people comprises every citizen,

Race nor creed nor color nor sexual orientation has bearing,

Not just for those deemed as righteous or worthy in another’s eyes.

They are us…beholden to us, answerable to us if we demand it,

But instead we cower with an air of disinterest, taking our medicine

Like good subservient children.

Who is to blame for this debacle?

They are,

We are,

We are the true culprits,

Complicit in their scheme!

Complicit through tolerance or blindness, neither an excuse.

When will we awake from our slumber to hold these servants of the public accountable

We have an obligation to the experiment, yet we have faltered.

Laziness and ignorance are our legacy,

The legacy we have created in our own image.

How sad to see our path toward the annals of history,

Strewn with the sacrifices of the fallen.

If not for ourselves, for them we should correct course,

Return to the greatness that was us,

If we still know the way.


~~ Dominic R. DiFrancesco ~~

A Decade Of War

A decade of war

Life draining on this nation

When will it all end

Our citizens sacrificed

Precious resources squandered

To what victory

How do we define success

Against painful loss

Our wars produce no winners

Without a clear enemy

All gains will revert

When finally we depart

Chaos ensuing

As is always the result

In the absence of brute force

When ideals are forced

Democracy imposed

Only breeds contempt

When masses are unprepared

For freedoms sacrifices


~~ Dominic R. DiFrancesco ~~


The Hands

I remember the hands,

Dark, calloused, weathered,

Like the old leather of my hand-me-down Buster Brown’s.

Skin the shade of olive;

Disfavored for their Napolitan roots,

Unafraid of hard work,

Unrepentant for the right and wrong that they’d done.

They played jacks,

Scuffled in the schoolyard,

Held the hand of their first love

All before the start of the First World War.

Trembled in fear,

Shouldered a carbine,

Took their first life,

Comforted their comrade as they passed on

During the ravages of the Second World War.

Returned home to the embrace of the wife left behind,

Prepared to resume peaceful work,

Lifting crates,

Tossing sacks

Unloading train cars,

Driving trucks

All to support a wife and newborn baby.

Cradled silently to his breast,

Calmed when she cried,

Held her hand on the first day of school

Waltzed during the father daughter dance

Clapped during graduation,

While holding two jobs to make ends meet.

Toiled never ceasing as the family grew,

Their work never eased.

Time bent and broke them making it more difficult,

But nary a complaint did they utter.

Finally age made the decision,

Putting them out to pasture,

A much needed rest ensued.

The years were kind,

Allowing them to pursue their passions,

Until clasped in prayer,

The Lord called them home.


~~ Dominic R. DiFrancesco ~~

We Must Never Forget – A Tanka

Image Credit: theimagearsenal.com

Image Credit: theimagearsenal.com

These flag draped coffins

Returning from distant wars

We must not forget

Whether cause be right or wrong

They’re our brothers and sisters


~~ Dominic R. DiFrancesco ~~

These Dreams I Still Have

These dreams I still have

Remnants of a misspent youth

Still push me onward

Unlike many of our young

Lost and wandering


Have we been failures

Left to fend for themselves

Both parents labor

This unavoidable plague

With our children as victims


Our culture has changed

Families expendable

Futures uncertain

Their dreams are left in tatters

If they ever had any


These dreams I still have

Are for our children’s futures

Prosperous and full

As mine was when I was young

Not something left in the past


~~ Dominic R. DiFrancesco ~~

Words I (Try to) Live By

As dramas unfold in life,

We seek guidance wherever it may be found,

God, government, friends, family,

Selectively choosing that which we find amiable,

While discarding what is distasteful,

This grants us no benefit,

Except to the feeble mind which construed.

At times we must exhibit courage through self-sacrifice,,

Enduring the consequences of our thoughts and deeds,

In order to reap our just reward,

In this truth, I strive to live my life,

To curb unkind thoughts,

Withhold unhelpful actions,

And consider every man my equal and friend.

~~ D. R. DiFrancesco ~~