Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Veterans' Day - 2008

Ninety years ago, in Flanders Fields,
at the eleventh hour, there was silence.
The young men who would get to be the sires
of generations finally stood down.
Their sons and daughters keep a dreadful watch
for menace, or for signs that peace might hold:
there's little promise in the sullen calm
among those arid dunes and barren hills.
Today was Veterans’ Day. I stayed at home.
I watched the news, and tried to gauge the times:
I worried about jobs and banks and stocks;
I wondered when the new man shows his hand.
Well-fed, and with the wherewithal to fret,
I wallow in a space I don’t defend
with either vigilance or sacrifice.
Last night, I saw ten rows of better men
acknowledging their service, standing tall.
I should not have a moment's peace as long
as I have offered nothing but applause.

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