Memorial Day This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

April 4, 2009
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I finished washing the old table
we bought for summer days like this –
Warm, bright leaves and sparrows fluttering
down to the mowed lawn. And now
the odor of cooking burgers wafts
straight up my nose, penetrating sensory fibers
with an aroma laced with burning human grace.

SunChips scatter into a bowl, pouring from the bag
I lift high. The label reads, 140 calories per serving
of eleven chips. I insert, with scorn:

140 souls forgotten within that dose of whole-grain snack
someone bought just for this lovely picnic,
so clean once people learn to ignore the hints of meaning
floating past our ignorant eyes, nose, and heart.

Time to finish setting the table for the ­”special” day.
A plate is piled high with toppings for the red meat
that is supposed to be cow; but the meat reeks
of something considerably closer in relation.

The toppings of choice are tomato and ­lettuce: they
represent the ground the vets returned to, only
to be ignored, to rot in unmarked graves
dotting the Earth on all human-declared ­battlegrounds,

As we party through their Memorial Day.

This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.

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