Tiny Flags – Memorial Day 2015

Memorial Day was created to honor the dead of the Civil War, and has since come to mean honoring the dead of all the country’s wars. That is the idea. The reality is that Memorial Day is a beach or lake or picnic holiday, surrounded by Memorial Day car sales, all observed by vast numbers of Americans who have no clue what the day is meant to be. Except for those who have lost someone, the ones who still put the tiny flags on the cold, cold  graves.

The cemetery’s winding walk
The grass as green as grass can grow
Beneath the grass the soldiers talk
And wonder if the people know
What it is like to die so young
Alive until that fateful time
When in the balance living hung
Without a reason or a rhyme
They talk together in the cold
And don’t bemoan their awful fate
For ever young, for never old
They can but rest and patient wait
They know what day it is today
They feel the gentle press above
They smell the wreaths their families lay
And know the tiny flags are love

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