From California to the New York Island
On Memorial Day, amid all the mattress sales,
the sprawling, shambolic family gathered
in a beige-carpeted living room
with kitschy flag throw pillows
and faded-glory reproductions
for a patriotism-themed “presentation”
complete with a printed-out program
that was folded and stapled with care.
Scrubbed young kids,
by a Golden Retriever,
They rattled off the Pledge of Allegiance,
an uncertain list of all the states,
the Preamble to the Constitution,
capping it all with a warbling rendition
of “This Land is Your Land.”
They grasped to remember the words,
their memory banks depleted
from all that rote recitation.
The veteran squirmed the whole time
and cringed when asked
to summarize his service
to the extended family in attendance.
He was the only one to have served
after the military went from a universal rite of passage
to an all-volunteer suicide squad.
View original post 218 more words