41. Barbara Kaufmann--Memorial Day Doesn’t Tell A War

41. Barbara Kaufmann--Memorial Day Doesn’t Tell A War

-for somebody who once wore it

I cry today the Memorial.
Highground.*
An empty wind
stirs chimes and hills,
echoes the flood plain
to Southeast Asia.

I smell a country,
taste a soldier’s fear
feel burning straw,
hear a twig,
a mother’s heart,
and a story break
on the six o’clock news.

Sculptured bronze
metal bodies
freeze time
and history
for a nation too easily
forgot the words
“never again.”

A national flag
snaps to attention,
salutes a lonely wind,
and unforgotten war,
a hypnotized people,
an uneasy belief
that a Persian Gulf
and fresh new war
can heal another.

It stings like yesterday
twenty-five years later.
A generation of peace
still missing in action,
the human race
still prisoners of war.

Flowers die,
war memories fade
for those who don’t touch it
but the green patch of cloth
placed on the ground
in the center of a Memorial Day wreath
speaks an authentic story,
tells a war.
A somebody once wore it.

 

* Highground is the name of a war memorial built on a hill outside Neillsville, Wisconsin. It is a typical bronze casting of soldiers in war but at the back of the monument is a rifle turned upside down (a symbol for peace and “war no more”) and a large set of chimes that ring through valley below when the wind blows.  Highground is said to be a place of great healing for veterans and those who have been touched by war.

 

About Us

  • charter brand transp blue mediumCharter for Compassion provides an umbrella for people to engage in collaborative partnerships worldwide. Our mission is to bring to life the principles articulated in the Charter for Compassion through concrete, practical action in a myriad of sectors.

CONTACT

  • Charter for Compassion
  • PO Box 10787
  • Bainbridge Island, WA 98110
  • twitter
  • facebook1
  • facebook2
  • youtube
  • linked in
  • pinterest
  • instagram
  • tumblr

     

Newsletters

  • Be up to date with our latest news.

Log in