by Terry Lodge

I grew up on Memorial Day.
My father made floral arrangements
Which we left at the gravesites of friends and relatives
Who had died in war.
I remember watching the tears form in his eyes
As he recalled what he, himself, saw in the South Pacific
Choking up in mid-sentence.

And there were parades
And that somber poem
‘We are the Dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved and were loved, and now we lie
In Flanders fields.
Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.’
Every Memorial Day.
Every accursed Memorial Day.

Those millions of torched boneboxes
Swept along on the rising tide
Of hundreds of millions of gallons of blood
Spilled for what?
To ‘take up the quarrel with the foe?’

Those torched boneboxes immolated billions of dreams
Millions of hearts swollen with love
And millions of pounds of brains
From which personal inclination
To oppose My Lai
Carpet bombing
War profiteers
Drone murders
False patriotism
The military-industrial-genocide complex
Depleted uranium holocausts
Dead collaterals,
Had to be erased
And replaced with war
As the health of the state.

Tell me when we wage class warfare
To end warfare
At Fallujah

I oppose Memorial Day.
‘Short days ago we lived
And now we lie in Flanders fields.’
The Earth should vomit up that shame.

Tell me when we wage class warfare
To end warfare.
There is no dying class –
The lie of Flanders fields.

– Terry Lodge, 5/30/11


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