I remember

I do not want to use

the word ‘celebration’

when I think about war

and those who did and

did not come back to us,


And I refuse to throw the

word around freely on special

days when we pause to think

of what was and might still be.


I want to remember instead

and contemplate what war

does to the generations who

went with such hope and

returned in the silence of

hidden and corrosive despair.


I remember and contemplate

to renew in myself the conviction

to stand in the soft shoes of peace

not the hard boots of destruction

that trample over the innocents.


The eternal flame burns to bring

our thoughts to the price of war

and the tragic cost of peace.