old memories stir in me like dead leaves
in the breeze; I shall not forget them
soon; we call them the great
generation for they fought
on the side of right
before we their
the difference
I see the rows
of iron crosses in
the woods in my mind
as if only yesterday before
their fatherland came to take
them home; I wonder who had
tended their graves all those years
keeping the weeds from overtaking
the gravel paths between their graves
in the sand in my backyard I found evidence
that deserters from every army had once hidden
there in Tombolo and broken bread together and
had figured out that if all soldiers on all sides refused
to fight there would be no wars and no one to pay heed
to tin pot tyrants whims and dreams of ignominious glory
things are never what they seem and per la patria is the entire
problem, long before borders and languages divided us all we
were one and that is what I learned in my garden under the
silent pines who bore witness to making undecorated
peace far braver than any battle bayonettes beaten
into plow shares let us til the earth with the
blood of fallen soldiers and grow food
to feed the hungry on every corner
Sassoon may have received no
ribbons nor Thoreau but
I feel I know them well

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