Memorial Day

I am sick of the voices of heroes!
They cry from maniacal graves:

“Why do you hurry and turn away—
You who are warmed by the sun?

“Once a year, on a ‘solemn occasion,’
You come for public mourning.
Officers offer orisons.
Politicians ply for votes.

“And we lie here in the dank cold
In Earth’s forlorn cathedral
Year after year recalling
Gilded words,
Lips we did not kiss and love,
Eyes that did not see our eyes,
And the eyes of enemies we did not know.”

Be quiet! Be still!

Under the stones, under the raw sod,
Worry the worms, worry the casket’s
Satin, worry the groaning Earth,
Turning around on its axis,
Five billion years and counting.

Gary Corseri has published/posted poems, articles and stories at Dissident Voice, The Greanville Post, Uncommon Thought Journal, CounterPunch, Countercurrents, Transcend Media Service, Veterans News Now, The New York Times, Village Voice, Redbook Magazine, Common Dreams, and hundreds of other worldwide venues. His dramas have been produced on PBS-Atlanta and elsewhere, and he published novels, poetry collections, and a literary anthology (edited), Manifestations. He has taught in US and Japanese universities and in US prisons and public schools. He has performed his work at the Carter Presidential Library and Museum. Gary can be reached at Read other articles by Gary.

2 comments on this article so far ...

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  1. rg the lg said on May 26th, 2009 at 7:48am #

    This poem says it all …

    This is the result of our inaction. This is the price they paid for our life style.

    So, is the empire worth it?

    RG the LG

  2. Gary Corseri said on May 26th, 2009 at 8:03am #

    Thanks for your comment, RG. Thanks for taking the time to write and share your views.

    Sadly, we are in sync! (I hate these “holidays”–Memorial Day, 4th of July, even Thanksgiving now–, which become more jingoistic with each passing year!)