The Pledges We Send by Debra Roberts

Spring in our steps turned heavy today
guilt vanishing with the vanity of youth
flexed once in all its robust bravado

when dutifully charged, Carpe diem!
We sent them shouting, A la vie! A la liberte’!

Is this how we pledge allegiance?
Red-eyed and bruised hearted,
taut-faced and drained of joy

Stone gray slabs lay stark against the living,
lawns laden with concrete idealism
blink into the pristine grounds
so far removed from beating breasts,
and echoes of the silenced tongues felled on foreign soil

Here, the stony sentries stand, again,
Staring down the stain of flagging resolve
Braced knees collapse,
too, bow our heads,
shed tears for the unspeakable

A chorus once,
tho now wholehearted tribute quelled
For crosses mar our pleasant hills
Our loved ones lay in cold repose

An oath which robbed them, every one
which stole away the ardent heart
their soul-shine gone and blotted out
for all who swore to us an vow – Defend and Serve

Eternal names stand carved in stone
History points accusing

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