Saturday, November 20, 2004


Flag by Henry B Stevens

Not moving, not dancing
lying very still
now a coverlet
a decoration
for remains forever static.

The starred blue square
marks the head
although we do not know
or ask if there is a head inside.

The red white stripes
point to the feet
as in patrol, platoon
squad and squadron.

Do not look or note
or photograph these flags
covering metal boxes
it's unpatriotic.

Do not recite the names
of what the remains were called
as it aids the enemy
is an intrusion on family grief.

Do explain to the children
especially the very young ones
why flags are gleefully everywhere
when starting the war.

But now we do not look at
or think about
flags on
metal boxes.

Reprinted from "Victory" a chapbook of poetry by Henry Burt Stevens
Avialable from click on BOOKS

I really enjoyed your poem, especially the first two lines. I loved that it could apply to both the flag and the bodies of the men/women we've lost. I endeavor to use such devices in my own poetry, but my blog gets filled with random thoughts and only the occaisional scrap of poetry... I wish I had more time to write. Anyway, keep up the good work!
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