Tuesday, November 8, 2011

November 11th, 1994

After the rain, the Last Post, the Silence,
after the laying of wreaths, the Legion fills.
Between sobriety and bathos comes
a quiet stage of drunkenness when men
remember private wounds -- lost youth,
illusion, hope -- when chinks grow wide
in the high walls they hide behind, the walls
that women never learn to build.
A man turns to an old comrade, then,
and says, "I was glad to have you at my back.
You were quiet, but you were a good man."
"We were all good men," the other says,
and something suddenly is laid bare
that cannot be explained, or shared.

(From Quintet: Themes & Variations, Ekstasis Press 1998)

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