Monday, May 26, 2008

Sonnet for Memorial Day

You can listen to Garrison Keillor read it here


We're here to honor those who went to war
Who did not wish to die, but did die, grievously,
In eighteen sixty-one and in two-thousand four
Though they were peaceable as you or me.
Young and innocent, they knew nothing of horror---
Singers and athletes, and all in all well-bred.
Their sergeants, mercifully, made them into warriors,
And at the end, they were moving straight ahead.
As we look at these headstones, row on row on row,
Let us see them as they were, laughing and joking,
On that bright irreverent morning long ago.
And once more, let our hearts be broken.
God have mercy on them for their heroic gift.
May we live the good lives they would have lived.

1 comment:

Paige said...

Thank you for posting the text of this sonnet. I googled it and found it on your blog. Enjoyed your other writing - particularly the piece on worship. After 28 years in full time parish ministry, I now work as a freelance writer and choir director. It is indeed a good life.
Peace today -
pbs