Quaint and Curious, Unforgotten "Laura"
Go with the Flau

For Veterans Day

An American Flag by Beverly & Pack

A Box Comes Home

I remember the United States of America
As a flag-draped box with Arthur in it
And six marines to bear it on their shoulders.

I wonder how someone once came to remember
The Empire of the East and the Empire of the West.
As an urn maybe delivered by chariot.

You could bring Germany back on a shield once
And France in a plume.  England, I suppose,
Kept coming back a long time as a letter.

Once I saw Arthur dressed as the United States
Of America.  Now I see the United States
Of America as Arthur in a flag-sealed domino.

And I would pray more good of Arthur
Than I can wholly believe.  I would pray
An agreement with the United States of America

To equal Arthur's living as it equals his dying
At the red-taped grave in Woodmere
By the rain and oak leaves on the domino.

--John Ciardi

(From Poets of World War II (American Poets Project).)

As I said last year:

    "May all Soldiers someday be Veterans."


John Ciardi's poem was previously posted here November 11, 2003.

Photo by Flickr user Beverly & Pack, used under Creative Commons license.



John Carter

really wonderful poetry by John Ciardi....it just brings out the american out of me. It's that type of poetry that just motivates you...

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