by David Roderick

Respectful memories.

We stand before the cenotaph,
Forgetting what this memorial means.
Our souls are bare before our monasteries;
Our consciousness a transient breeze.

In a votive offering to memories,
our condolences are forgotten.
We paid that due to the soldiers,
that went bleating to their deaths.

Have only place and time we offer;
Their sorrows are not ours to proffer.
The bullets, and their hailstorm gun,
Are much surprised to be not fun.

Not all died, but all were plied,
With that we cannot know before,
Until we're there,
With cause to stare,
The barrel down on loaded gun.

The tragedy of our account,
We feel should not begin to mount.
We feel that guilt, but not that loss:
Their burdens are not ours to cross.

The trinkets of the modern age,
Are not on the even page.
We feel that now we are so safe:
We can walk and breathe in pace.

But these things we cannot know,
By pausing and reflecting so.
Quick, quick, quick;
That bill to pay.
But who did save the day?