Thoughts During Taps
Our hearts are bereft, heavy
with their absence.
Why do we trumpet them off
to war to consecrate them
to the ground with bugles?
They rally in the name of country
and go down like moths in a storm
of flames, heavy with the
misfortune of violence.
Though skin be black or white
the same honour is leeched
from the same milky bones.
We stand subdued at this moment,
each of us with a visage in mind
as a sort of last rite.
They remain ever valiant stars
but we, in the interim,
think our country downright
bereft as we receive folded stripes
from white-gloved hands
in exchange for flesh and bone.
This poem was written as part of the 20 Poem Challenge.
Rebecca Weigold's poems have appeared in Black River Review, Perceptions, Up Against the Wall, Mother, and other publications. In 1987, she founded/published The Cincinnati Poets' Collective, an annual poetry journal which featured the work of poets for a decade.
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