Memorial Day, 2012: Until the Best of Us


Until the best of us had ridden to the field
and laying life upon the ground
left for memory stone and mound,
no peace could hold for folk and truth that would not yield.

Until the flash of searing savagery made new
as conceit burns in every age
grave commands branded on the page,
each quiet day-by-day the brave would seem too few.

But then that wave of courage, fear, and love (yes, still)
swept scything to reap and be sown,
so freedom’s passion might be known,
and drew hope from dark soil that we cannot un-till.