Braver Places (Memorial Day)

There are the times when someone makes a choice that lends to new places and responsibilities.  There is that persistent a sense of dread and excitement  that illicit itself all throughout the body, simultaneously.   Recently, I’ve been reserved to the idea of how change might work on my body, mind, and soul, but then I think of the places some people have been before that prove, in my mind, to be far braver acts.  Whether it is that they came out the same, changed, alive, or not, there are the places we all will go that we will have to brave–and sometimes that braving is merely just letting go of what we’ve been holding on to, whatever that might be. 


There are braver places we all have been
which make the new seem normal,
Once then, there were the men—
I would like to believe, the beloved ones—
who walked out their doors, became paralyzed,
became the flowers, of now red and white clover,
Became a larger part of the story.

In those great stretches of cemetery,
I could only wonder if
man’s greatest fear is death,
dying before knowing love?
If the tear trails that follow in procession
measure the indefinite weight
when there is no missing—only a table place set aside,
A room that still feels too big? We know
they are still here.

Right here, here where we are merely passing
Here, where we are barely acknowledging the flowers,
Or how far those seeds must have flown—
daring the world—here are those men,

The men who needed to learn
that love’s greatest height is at the point of leaving.
When we can come to live with without.
Because this is no longer their world anymore.
I’ve seen new flowers growing about there,
Surely, by now, they’ve come to know that lesson,
but they kept the secret hidden with solemn lips,
sealed, hardened caskets for bodies it seems.
No, I do not believe war will ever cease,
at least within ourselves.
And this harder world, maybe it won’t be given up easily
But we will make believe
by setting flowers, old and new, near their name.
And maybe you heard something speaking, but
No, secrets cannot be heard buried from
far under the earth.


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