We Call Them the Brave
who likely were reluctant to be brave.
Sitting by a slow fire on a waste
of snow, I would last about an hour.
Better not euphemize the grave.
In this fashionable town, endearments are the mode
though generals are appraised - not praised -
and one is not forced to walk about
where a muddy slough serves as a road.
"What are these shadows barely
visible, which radar fails to scan?"
ships "keeping distance on the gentle swell."
And "what is a free world ready
to do, for what it values most?"
bestow little discs the bereaved may touch?
forget it even when dead -
that congressionally honored ghost
mourned by a friend whose shoulder sags -
weeping on the shoulder of another
for another; with another sitting near,
filling out casualty tags.
What of it? We call them the brave
perhaps? Yes; what if the time should come
when no one will fight for anything
and there's nothing of worth to save.