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Memorial Day


 
           Memorial Day

 
Rather, we should, than gather
in rainy cemeteries to remember,
have dances and dinners in halls
with the pictures of those we loved
now gone
hung upon the walls.
 
We should sing and laugh and make merry,
celebrate their living and the joy
they gave us in their lives
before their most courageous
sacrifice,
which is why, after all, we have gathered
in this soggy graveyard.
 
 
Copyright 2008 – HARDWOOD-77 Poems, Gary B. Fitzgerald
 
 
 
         Natchez National Cemetery
 
 
Thin sticks of white stone standing
like soldiers in columns and rows
across a hundred horizontal green acres.
A wide plain of vertical markers spread
as far as the eye can see, like first snow
on fallow fields, bright and cold.
The ranks stand together at attention,
once all so different, now all the same,
each like the other but for the cut of a name,
the date of a death and a birth,
stabbed like the swords of the fallen
in the heart of the earth.
All so alone. All so dead.
 
Ironic, my brother, the soldier,
here standing and sleeping as well.
So different than any and better than most,
sang in the choir and prayed to the Host,
crossed himself twice for the Holy Ghost,
now immortalized here so exactly
by a pale, rectangular rock post,
like all of the others but for the cut of a name.
He also alone and so dead.
 
 
Copyright 2008 – HARDWOOD-77 Poems. Gary B. Fitzgerald
 
 
 
 
           Hardwood
 
 
I rise each day and find these trees
stand exactly where they did the day before,
stood unafraid in a darkened wood
through the cold and empty hours
to welcome in a new day’s pearly light.
But each day, it seems, I also find another
who has ventured past that unseen door,
has left us, we can only pray,
for something good and something more
and something less than standing through the night.
 
Proud these trees stood still when we returned
from the solemn procession and burial,
on a day of tears and a last goodbye, of dying flowers,
the lifting of a polished hardwood casket.
And though weary when returning from the funeral,
I take time tonight to walk beside the wood
and of these hardwood trees and life I ask it:
where stand and how grow until the day it’s I
who, dressed in hardwood, awaits a morning bright?
 
 
Copyright 2008 – HARDWOOD-77 Poems. Gary B. Fitzgerald



Funny how death, so far away,
was such a fascination in my youth.
Now, so close, I am loathe to even
speak of it.


Copyright 2010 – Ponds and Lawns: New and Corrected Poems, Gary B. Fitzgerald


Last edited by GaryBFitzgerald, May/29/2013, 7:44 pm
May/27/2013, 8:00 pm Link to this post Send Email to GaryBFitzgerald   Send PM to GaryBFitzgerald
 
Christine98 Profile
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Re: Memorial Day


hi Gary,

Beautiful and somber poems, all of them. It's really good to see you here, don't be a stranger,

Chris
May/28/2013, 1:43 pm Link to this post Send Email to Christine98   Send PM to Christine98
 
GaryBFitzgerald Profile
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Re: Memorial Day


Thanks, Chris. I'm glad that you enjoyed my poems.

I don't get on the internet much any more. Everybody's on Facebook these days anyway, which I don't do. Hell, talk about a [sign in to see URL]'m still into paper books.

You said: "Don't be a stranger.". My friends tell me I couldn't be much stranger.

 emoticon

GBF
May/29/2013, 7:57 pm Link to this post Send Email to GaryBFitzgerald   Send PM to GaryBFitzgerald
 


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