Saturday, April 29, 2017

As You Wave On

September 27, 2016 by  
Filed under Bras & Boots, Most Recent Posts

This poem was written in Ramadi Iraq, 2005. At the end of a particularly gruesome day, feeling so many emotions, I became fixated on the lone American flag flying above our post. I became jealous of it’s materialistic nature that allowed it not to feel the great pains of war.

tattered-american-flagAS YOU WAVE ON
By Larissa Stone

In the midst of innocence fading from the eyes of children
And the youthfulness of a generation gone in the pull of a trigger
Just above the shallow trenches you fly
Becoming a colorful headstone to some
And to others remaining as a guilty survivor’s souvenir

All around the world you have left your mark
Gleaming in the weary sockets of forgotten prisoners of war
Carried silently over combative terrain
Violently protested, spit upon, and burned
You have seen unspeakable torture and pain
And flown proudly through every season of America’s rain

But where are your tears for the sadness you’ve seen?
Are they in the tattered edges of your windblown fabric
Or the fading colors of your soul

And where are your sleepless nights filled with fear?
While you drape over caskets, forever silencing practiced battle cries
Or lay folded in the patriotic hands of another proud widow
.
If only your threads could re-weave these unraveled lives
And give your flailing a rest to respect the stillness of death
But still you wave on,
Still you wave on ‘Ol Glory

In the early morning graveyard mist you can faintly hear
The nameless whisper from under their unmarked graves
They expended their last breath and last heartbeats
As the bombs and bullets fervently chase life away
Just so you might spend a few more moments held high
And remain glorious above those around you who are too busy dying

With the promise of brighter futures they followed you
Wore you proudly in the air, sea, and land
With their inexperience clutching childlike to your hand

But when the smoke has cleared and a new morning dawned
After the treaties are signed and it’s finally time to head home
With the blood of many dripping from your star spangled cloth
You triumphantly arrive and fly again all alone

Leaving only memories to try to etch themselves into history
Young women and men killed before they really ever lived
So where are your tears
Where are your tears for those that make you a hero
You will always be wherever the war may go
But without the sacrifices of the soldier
You are only a flag made up of red, white, and blue

So please, while you sway gently in the summer breeze
And while you caress the stars in a calm night sky
Remember the quiet stillness of death
And for the fallen heroes remember to cry

As you wave on, ‘Ol Glory
As you wave on

Comments

One Response to “As You Wave On”
  1. Sharon says:

    Alicia,
    I teach a drama class that performs every year for our “Take a Vet to School Day”. Our focus this year is women veterans. I would love for my students to recite your poem for that event. Would you be willing for us to do that? We promise not to change it in any way.
    Sharon

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