Poem for Memorial Day

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Missed Friday Nite Poetry this week. I was not sure what to write. Saturdays are just ridiculously long days for me now, so posting then will be tough for a little bit. I have been going around in circles trying to figure out what to do for this weekend. I do believe in honoring our fallen, but I also believe we have to get out of this cycle of violence worship. I think I have found something that satisfies both…

King of the Vampires

I drink them dry of their future
I drink them dry of their past
I drink them dry and send them forth
knowing they will die to the last

They do it for you
and that is the beauty
they do it for you
for God and for duty

I whisper from shadows
from below and above
I whisper of hatred
of honor and of love

I take them brittle and old
and I take them brand new
I take them to the grave
on the hot winds I blew

Then I lay them out
like a wide row of flowers
letting you drink their legacy
in playful and bright hours

I sit back and watch
as you grow me a new crop
each generation
wondering if you will stop

but you never do
you never disappoint
you never deny me
that next martyr you anoint

You use them like compost
fertile and rank
growing glory and tradition
to lay them out on the plank

The next smorgasbord
for me to consume
that next eager conflict
that on the horizon looms

It gives you meaning
a reason to laugh and cry
so you never question
your willingness to die

You do the wrong thing
for all the right reasons
keeping me fat and happy
for infinite seasons

You honor my victims
and call them your heroes
you honor them all
and keep pumping the bellows

Embrace me once more
with pride you are so eager
feed me with your future
until your youngs’ blood is meager

Do it once more
this parade and this dance
trapped by grief and love
I give you a chance

I play my games
sometimes in plain sight
I do it again
watching you in your plight

One day you may topple me
though that is in doubt
I catch you in your need
to keep your loves memory devout

And I fear that moment
that instant of clarity
when you realize devotion
need not come at the cost of humanity

When you realize love of war
does not mean love of country
you will stop gilding the altar
you will finally starve me

Until that day remember
every one of them I have taken
they have rightly earned their place
and cannot be forsaken

If I had a heart
it might just bleed for you
I just might shed a tear
for the awful things I do

Instead I sit back
in this somber celebration
I watch you give your thanks
to those guarded this nation

They guarded it with lives
they gave willingly to me
they guarded it for reasons
I will never let you see

But you do not need to see them
just sit back and forget
forget with memory
so your destiny I can set

A clever trap made with love
a debt you cannot deny
A future set in stone
So I will never die

No dying is for you
for your feeble kind
but take this first day of summer
to ease your little mind

Keep your picnics and parades
this joy you try to make
and I will cross my fingers
that it never lets you wake

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