Memorial Day

by Paul Mathers

I’ve never known a battle loss,

the elders who survived to thank, to be sure,

but my crowd were

tripping in glitter piles

outside night clubs,

but later the buttoned-down

solemnity to kneel before an empty cross.

All these freedoms paid by

faceless young who were cut out

from so many books, art, kisses, tastes,

by way of someone else’s fight.

Their namelessness fitting for a nation

that accepts such gifts

as a matter of course.