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American Income Life Insurance Company BERNARD RAPOPORT Chairman Emeritus and Founder Note: The following poems were written by my granddaughter, Emily Palmer Rapoport, who is twelve years old. Bernard Rapoport A Soldier I lie in my bunk, oblivious to all, Staring at my comrades, staring at the stars. Shall I see these stars again, I wonder, as an enemy plane goes by? Shall I become a name on a long list, Who died for his country, who died for what’s right? Shall I hold Annie’s face in my hands, look into her eyes and see my world? Shall I be remembered, Shall I be forgotten, Shall I become an angel floating in the sky? Will the guns ever stop, Is it better to die? Is the beauty of the world worth the pain, Can the birds twitter, Drown out the dying man’s groan? The cannons never stop, The guns never exhaust. Even if what I die for is right, is it worth dying, Never seeing beauty, Giving up a life my own. A Hand A Sunset Comes wearily to tell the world that is here, To say another day is gone. Has seen green ground turned red, Peace to war, love to hatred. Sings a silent protest for peace, All God’s colors on its palette, melded together in happy harmony. Why, it sings, why must colors be separated? Come, come from your quarrels, Instead, watch me, My circle of perfection cast in the shades of the world, In an orb of happiness. And so this orb of idealism, of men joining hands, Shall sing its song forevermore. And it must be content with a couple in love, Staring at its perfection, Not knowing they are seeing God’s master plan. A hand to slap an, obnoxious child, A hand to offer hope to a stranger on the ground, A hand to offer comfort to a wide-eyed face. The form which seals agreement, Which gives, Which takes, Which lifts up and drags down. Our hands which own our lives, Writing words to a love, A threat to foe, Shared by wealthy and poverty-stricken. Both evil and goodness flow smoothly through our hands. They decide our fate upon the earth, Leaving the actions of our hands signed with a five-fingered creed. Emily Palmer Rapoport THE TEXAS OBSERVER 27 MARCH 31, 2000