Red and white stripes unfurled
Old Glory flaps in the wind,
her grommets clank
straining against steel pole.
You loved the flag, its simple beauty.
You lived the flag, patriotism in your soul.
The greatest generation, and you a woman,
a Naval Commander among them all.
People should know your name.
Short in stature, you stood tall
turned boys back into men
healed so many, traveled so far.
Directed nurses, ran the floor,
turned painful rehab into hope.
War time compassion
in the midst of blood and missing limbs.
So many times we sat at your table
ate lemon meringue pie
and rolled the Yahtze dice,
treasured photo above our heads.
You and Admiral Nimitz, side by side.
One hero, honored, known by many.
The other, slipped through time
a silver haired, kind old woman.
Behind one door in a hall of many,
skill and will still intact
you urged your aging friends
Use it or lose it! You’re not dead yet.
You gave again, feet matched spirit
oxford shoes on dirt floors
eighty years old, cross and caring
African clinic, ignored by many.
You can do it, lean on me.
One foot at a time. Move!
And you did
and they did too.
The wind stops, clanking hushed.
Flag quiet. I stand still, missing you.
Commander Frazier, our Aunt Flo.
I remember that faded photo,
just one moment in your glory days.
Photo: U.S. Naval Commander Florence M. Frazier, 1915–2010. On the occasion of her 90th birthday, touring a ship in Charlestown Navy Yard wearing military cap. She was saluted by many that day.
Admiral Chester W. Nimitz was Commander in Chief of the U.S. Naval Fleet in World War II.