memorial day

there is no romance
in dying a soldier, but
these deaths
deserve remembrance,
and so we place flowers & flags
over the bones of those
whose lives were swallowed by war

our young men,
all sons, some fathers
whose blood flowered
& stained the earth,
their flesh live fodder
for iron gods
who are always hungry

our small, fluttering flags
& red geraniums reflecting
the color of their sacrifice,
whether necessary
or sometimes needlessly given,
poor substitutes
in exchange for a life

but still
the only gesture of thanks
left us to offer them

About Susan L Daniels

I am a firm believer that politics are personal, that faith is expressed through action, and that life is something that must be loved and lived authentically--or why bother with any of it?
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14 Responses to memorial day

  1. A fitting tribute to the dead!

    • Thanks much. A lot of people see our memorial weekend as marking the first day to go to the beach, wear white, and start summer unofficially (all good things, truly!); but forgetting its roots of remembrance.

  2. nelle says:

    Beautifully expressed.

  3. doncarroll says:

    extremely done well. i gravitated to the second stanza as i’ve always been anti-war.

    • Thanks, Don. I am the pacifist daughter of a military family, so I try to see things as a pacifist who appreciates the sometimes brutal necessity of war, the outrage of it, and at the same time appreciate the very personal sacrifice of lives that made peace possible.

      • You put this so beautifully, Susan! “Brutal necessity” and “personal sacrifice of lives”!
        The most painful deaths for me are those that came about not from personal sacrifice but from the senseless destructiveness of conflicts and the wickedness of humans!

  4. will upload to my blog a clumsy poem I wrote some seven years ago on IDPs. These are some of the living victims of conflicts!

  5. Rhonda says:

    I did not miss this one…I needed to step away from it for a moment (or two). From my heart I thank you for the tribute in this one to our lost men and women. Such a small token we can share, after the fact, but if but one feels the true meaning, every small flower or flag waving in the wind is all. Blessings my friend.

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