Monday, May 31, 2010

Memorial Day

I heard this on NPR today - Writer's Almanac - read by Garrison Keillor:

High school band. Memorial Day.
Country cemetery. Marched all the way.
We stood in formation, took off our caps.
Stood with the nation, we played taps

Year before Kennedy, year before King.
Last year I cared about anything.
But for that moment, we were one.
Honoring soldiers

At Arlington.

Notes drifted across the plains.
Swallows signaled oncoming rain.
Station wagons, pickup trucks
Rescued us then turned to rust

We put on new uniforms
Crisp, creased. Tattered, well-worn
Some forget where we come from
Some come to rest

In Arlington

When he was twelve, took my only son
Lost ourselves in the Smithsonian
Then Abraham, above the Mall.
Then raised our hands, touched the wall.

Headstone horizon, eternal flame
Unknown lie with familiar names
Sacrificed daughters and sons
So I could cry

At Arlington.

-- Dennis Caraher

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