Monday, February 21, 2011

David M. Harris

EX-PATRIOT

Half a century ago, I carried a flag and grinned,
with the Young Republicans,
in my town's parade, the one that ended
in the square.
Later, in the band, no uniform,
and just good enough at it
for a junior-high band.
Proud to be in that parade,
marching for a future
we could smell just past the horizon.

In 1970, we paused from marching and plotting
the perfect world to follow
Apollo's fires. Even later, at Canaveral,
standing by the great supine rocket,
I was moved from faction to remember
an explosion in space, a moment
of common fears and dreams.

Today, I watch the marchers,
fighting two more Asian wars,
try to puzzle out their chants and signs,
wave to them, and return to my magazine,
exhausted by hope.

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