Memorial Day 2009
by Brad Horton

The yellow ribbon is for the soldiers they say
but why is it the color of cowards?
and not
black, for mourning of the dead on both sides
red, for the blood spilled on both sides
green, for their loyalty...and the money they make the CEO's
white, for the peace they supposedly fight for
pink, for the mother's who lose their sons on both sides
brown, for the skin color of those they're sent to kill
blue, for the tears shed on both sides
orange, for the flash from their rifles
copper, for the glint of "freedom" arcing through the air in it's ballistic death dance
clear, for the truth, unfettered by meaning and perspective
rainbow, for the homosexuals in their midst
a funeral is not for the dead
a funeral is for the living, for the survivors
and so, the ribbon is not for the soldiers
it is for those not willing to recognize these truths
so self-evident and hard to swallow
for those with synesthesia, it would be the color of a cluster bomb's whistle as it falls
the cordite's smell, and the taste of desert dust
it is for those who don't go, because they support the war, but won't fight
for those who won't go, because they support the war, but won't fight
for those that don't want to know, about the brown
red, pink, blue, orange, black, rainbow, and clear
it is for those who are cowards
and so, this is why the ribbon is yellow

Copyright © 2009 - Brad Horton
Published: 6/11/09   ·  Author's Page   ·  Next Poem