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The Cloth

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Knees in the mud, I gaze to the sky. In the distance, at the opposite side of the camp, a pole stands tall, with a scratty piece of cloth fluttering in the breeze.
It twists itself around the pole, then unfurls itself again, knotting and unknotting, turning and churning, like the bold guts of the men who marched into gun-fire.
The corners tear, and the piece of cloth rises over the tent, gliding shakily, fluttering, rising, falling, rising, slowly making its way towards me, the faded bold pattern daring me to relent like the coward I am.
It flies past in a flash or red and white and red and blue and red. It flies across the field, stained with the blood of the soldiers it has outlived.
You ask me; how can I possess such a cloth? Just ask for a flag, my friend. Then blind your conscience to the end.



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