In the center of our yard a flower bed grew,
a garden of beauty brought fully into view,
and in the center of the plot a pole was planted,
straight and true and never slanted
until the iron rusted after dad had died.

As a boy, I tried to shinny skyward to the top
of the flagpole that marked our place. A space
where Old Glory’s banner proudly flew, a wave
of red and white and blue unfurled and true
to mark a sailor’s port and an immigrant’s station;

a symbol of a valiant nation honored in its way.
Today the pole is gone. Fallen by rusts’s voracious
appetite. The naturalized citizen who saluted in reverence
to the land of his preference has been laid to rest.
The proud chest of the sailor rises and falls no more

his ship moored in its silent shore, his dutiful chore
is done. The memory of these people and places
is etched, their faces tattooed on hearts and minds that
held them dear. All that remains here is this banner aloft
crisp and clean, flown to keep their memories alive!

(C) Walter J. Wojtanik, 2015

A Memorial Day and childhood memory written to Poetic Asides Prompt #306 – Childhood


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