Daily Memories

so, it’s Memorial Day

sales

again

and I remember

when Cub Scout packs

would take up the back

of the parade

and families would struggle

to find shade

along Main Street

in late May

with temperatures rising

we shuffled our feet

to the beat

of drums

back when

Vietnam Vets

were still

considered bums

by the Veterans

of the second great war

and, oh say

I can see more

Cub Scouts

getting ready to be

all that they can

be

and I can clearly

see

children being recruited

young minds being polluted

memorize these lines

pledge your allegiance

and fall in line

and left

right

left

and it’s time

to fight

now set your sights

on brown skin

and although it’s killing

its not a sin

and I command you

ten more push-ups

and hurry the hell up

and wait

and this is your fate

a decade down

the line

salt

and lime

drink these memories

far

far away

far away

far away

its Memorial Day

and if you fail

to come home a hero

in a flag draped casket

there will be mattress sales

and a shopping basket

at the grocery store

you can fill with

more

more

more

beer

and wine

and liquor

to wash away

the war

to wash away

the pain

to wash away

the years

shift through

the gears

back to first grade

back when you first made

up your mind

that we were

the good guys

you could see it

in the weary eyes

of the soldiers

getting off the plane

at Westover

after Amy

and Sarah

invited you to join them

and their parents

in their minivan

for a drive to Chicopee

to see

the returning men

and women

standing tall

and looking good…

and I understood

what I had to do

as I stood there

in my Cub Scout hat

and K-Mart shoes

and waved

a miniature American flag

looking back now,

I take a drag

and remember

a decade later

when we were given

miniature American flag

stickers to stick

on the front

of our football helmets

during the first week

of our senior year

and we did so proudly

but full of fear

in the days following

9/11/2001

and fifteen years later

we still haven’t won

whatever we were

supposed to win

and if I were still

Catholic

I would call it a

sin

what we did

in the years

that followed

following all that

nightly news

fear

we swallowed

like bitter pills

from the VA

and now

once again

it’s Memorial Day

but it’s not a day

to remember…

its become a day

to celebrate

capitalism

and ignore the embers

still smoldering

from the people

and cultures

we’re burning

to the ground

lost

never to be

found

and, while a few

of us

are yearning

for an end

to this

endless madness

while struggling through

this endless sadness

too many

keep turning

blind eyes

every day

as the hawk flies

and Lady Liberty

cries

not knowing

what to say

 

 

So, after you drive

your brand new car

home from the mattress store

try to remember

we’re still at war…

and as you wash down

your burgers

with too many beers

dont be afraid

to shed a few tears

for the nearly two dozen veterans

who will kill themselves today

as they do daily

and if I become a number

like them

dont blame me

it was my Uncle Sam

who failed me

as he failed

every last one

of his nieces

and nephews

abusing his power

abusing us all

please teach your children

the truth

so they refuse to fall

in line

and make the same mistake

that so many of us did

when we were just

good-hearted,

well-intentioned,

God-fearing,

patriotic,

naive,

brainwashed

American kids

 

 

 

 

 

About soitgoes1984

I was born and raised on land stolen from the Pocumtuc. I now live on a small island in the middle of the Pacific ocean, on land that was stolen more recently, from the Hawaiians. I am addict, struggling to kick the habit of fossil fuel.
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