Hope Springs

Hope J. Springs is the stage name of Jacinda Smith who grew up in Memphis, TN. She earned a BA in English from the University of Memphis in Tennessee and a Masters in Teaching from Howard University in Washington, D.C. Currently a Middle School Instructor, Hope’s goal is to foster hope and healing in people through her written and spoken words. She recently released her debut novel, Jerks to Gentle Men, and is currently working on a book of poetry. She lives in Southern Maryland with her family and can be contacted at hopejsprings@gmail.com.

My Grandfather’s Story

There was once a man from Tyro, Mississippi
Who served his country oh so simply

When the contest was held on who could make the best hair cut
Battalion barber was what my grandfather grabbed up

He was part of the cleanup crew
He said that while serving after World War II

That’s all he, thankfully, had orders to do
One can only imagine what he saw and heard from veterans like you.

On his return from Japan, he no doubt became a better man
and grandfather to offspring he didn’t necessarily plan

Or did he?
He and his wife, together with God would raise ten educated children
Who produced many more who now serve the world on a mission

The oldest is a CPA, the youngest in college to become a doctor
In between are teachers, managers, therapists, artists and authors

He was an amazing man, who acquired and farmed over 600 acres
Land that he, his wife, eight daughters and two sons would till like Quakers

Even though he has passed on, his memory still carries a heavy load
So heavy he has a street in Mississippi named after him officially called Claude Greene Road.

His story makes me and my family truly understand
What it means to be an American Veteran

Here’s to you all! My war torn sisters and brothers!
We honor you this day for ALL you’ve survived and suffered!

My Uncle Van Louis’s Story

My Uncle’s Van Louis’s Story turned out quite differently from his father’s, which
is why it’s hard for me to put it in beautiful form for you fellow authors.

I speak to my uncle only for a moment when I go home
What he suffered in war has made his mind grow terrible sores,

Flashbacks, hallucinations, gut wrenching pain
Is what my uncle has lived with since coming out of Vietnam’s reign.

No his name is not carved into this hallowed wall
But he is not the uncle I used to know before he answered Vietnam’s call.

He once had a beautiful life, a beautiful wife with the promise of kids
Now he stares blankly into the world, barely making amends.

His sisters take good care of him now,
God has blessed him with one for each day of the week
And when I grow weary of my trials,
His trials make me rethink.

Here’s to you all! My war torn sisters and brothers!
We honor you this and every day for ALL you’ve survived and suffered!

To Veterans on Memorial Day - May 30, 2011