Monday, November 11, 2013

Eleven, Eleven, Eleven

The War to end all Wars

PILE the bodies high at Austerlitz and Waterloo.
Shovel them under and let me work—
            I am the grass; I cover all.
And pile them high at Gettysburg
And pile them high at Ypres and Verdun.         5
Shovel them under and let me work.
Two years, ten years, and passengers ask the conductor:
            What place is this?
            Where are we now?
            I am the grass.  10
            Let me work.        -Carl Sandberg

A Veterans Day Meditation
By Glenn Fairman


But we who can rejoice in our ecstatic blessings following the return of our beloved warriors know well in the vault of our beings that it could easily have been otherwise, and it seems that for nearly every tear-stained reunion filled with beaming smiles, there has been a darkened house with pulled shades where men and women wrestle with the lonely blistering repercussions that tragically accompany that mailed fist of duty -- as it forever freezes and torments in its glacial embrace. For such as these, the yearly exhumation of beautiful ribbons and the eloquent prose of poppy strewn fields grows threadbare as aching arms strain to remember the fallen who remain forever young. These are the harried lives left behind on the windward shore of a Great Sea to nurse afresh wounds that are excised annually -- that no Gold Star will ever redeem. For such as these, the time we have accorded as Veteran's Day stands as a dual-edged knife of precious and grievous memory.