Santa Barbara | Teen Ink

Santa Barbara

August 20, 2012
By floragj GOLD, Brooklyn, New York
floragj GOLD, Brooklyn, New York
19 articles 0 photos 8 comments

Plow furrows in the dunes and
sew rows of white crosses.
One cross for each flag buried
wrapped around a box of pine – a blanket
not warm enough for any lump of life.
One more son gone, one cross more
for fault lines to bear.

Pace the rows and remember single gloves,
incomplete things.
Do not try to recover
what is lost:
life; shoes tied with both hands;
a form to embrace beneath newly suffocating sheets;
the comforting guilt of forgiven mistakes.
Pile them all in a mass grave,
and cover it over. Cover it
over, again.

Watch blood, dripping from the radio,
pool at the foot of the bed.
The smell mixes with your coffee. The taste
butters your toast.
Twelve more crosses. Twelve more,

But as the crosses breed and the dunes disappear,
as the blood clots and the graves spill over,
do not look away. Keep your eyes trained on these totems.
Hope that one may blossom, and a life
may clamber away from the undertow.

The author's comments:
When I visited Santa Barbara, California, I came across an art installation on a beach. The installation consisted of small, white, wooden crosses that each represented the death of one American soldier in the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Seeing this image caused me to reflect on the war, my experience of it as a civilian, and the experience of active service members and veterans.

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