An Armistice Day Poem

NOVEMBER COMES
November comes on to me like a C-130
slinking into Dover Air Force base
laden with tin caskets
draped in red, white, and blue
I know, I know
I should just
let it be
Okay, okay
I can still do this:
push my shopping cart down
the local IGA’s aisles
pick up cheese and wines and crackers
while avoiding aluminum cans
like the plague
pay the cashier
smile at the bagger
push the cart out into the parking lot
neatly place everything I just bought
into the dumpster out back
light up a smoke
relax
Sure, sure,
 you want me to join in
on your celebrations
bless our bounty
accept your thanks
for my service
as if I were some Pilgrim
come home to receive your grace
It is November, you say, and we set aside
a day just for you to wrap up war
with the dissonance of fife and drum
and bagpipes blaring down main street
as if we can all finally dance
to the same tune
Sorry about that
My dancing days are long gone
I’d rather skate across the pond alone
I have more faith in ice.
———

Doug Rawlings

Veterans For Peace

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