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'How Crosses Grow' - A poem for Veterans Day

How Crosses Grow
By G.S. Gutierrez '14 MA

When I was a boy
I saw a garden made of stone
Where my uncle found his rest.
Filled with stars of stone and marbled
I wondered how they grew:
Widow's tears?
Folded flags?
I wondered how they grew.
Years would pass
In an ancient land.
I saw what my uncle saw.
I saw how crosses grow.
They grow
Through blasts of fire and three-round
Through shrapnel wounds and powder
Through courage and self-sacrifice
On blood-stained rocks and smoke-filled
I saw how crosses grow.

Gabriel Gutierrez ’14 MA is an alum of Mount Saint Mary’s Humanities program, and a current student in the Mount’s MFA in Creative Writing. During the course of his eight-year career in the U.S. Army, Gutierrez earned combat medals in Afghanistan and Iraq, and received the Army’s Humanitarian Service Medal for his participation in recovery efforts after Hurricane Katrina.

Today, Gutierrez is a writer, guest speaker and volunteer creative writing instructor at First to Serve, an L.A. based outreach center for individuals struggling with substance abuse, domestic violence and homelessness. At the Mount, Gutierrez leads as a student representative on the school’s Graduate Council. His work toward his Master of Arts in the Humanities won Gutierrez the program's 2014 Outstanding Thesis Award.

Mount Saint Mary's student-veterans - like Gutierrez - are transforming how the Mount serves those who have served all. Learn more through the links below.

Veterans Services at Mount Saint Mary’s
Connect with the Mount’s Student Veteran Liaison, and find out about services available at the College.

In Service to Veterans
A cover story from The Mount magazine about how our student-veterans are advancing a new mission on campus.

Veterans Outreach Association
A student-organized veterans’ organization at Mount St. Mary’s, bringing together a network of veteran students, faculty and staff.

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