It was 2003, and I did not know any better.
I had an occasion to celebrate, so I drafted a letter.
I wrote it, and bound it, and sealed it with a kiss.
I drove it over to the post office, rushed, my deadline not to miss.
My note never made it on time, I regret to say.
Everyone on the other side of the world had already gone to play.
I was in Lebanon then, and little did I know.
That other countries had different holidays to show.
In my home, you see, national holidays are kept by date, not day.
In the US the dates vary, with much regard to the actual day.
And so Memorial Day 2003 came and went.
With my letter to Jeff somewhere being kept.
His Memorial Day birthday that year was two days later.
But since then it has been easier to cater.
We now celebrate it whenever it falls.
As long as Memorial Day is close.
A long weekend, some time away.
Yet nothing has come close to the letter of that day.
Page after page of handwritten lines.
Music on CDs, scraps of thread, dried up vines.
Photos, and scents, memories to keep.
To put it together I had dug deep.
A piece of history I had preserved.
And with that a precious lesson I had learned:
Deadlines are hard to meet,
When holidays shift dates, and dates take a backseat.