The Left Behind

Visible saints from our visible wars,
Mount the black tarmac and try coming unstuck.
They come bleeding sand from invisible sores,
While smiling at wives and babies and luck.
We smile right back as big as we’re able,
And thank them at ballparks and ice hockey rinks.
Hiding old stories behind a cold fable,
Saluting with handshakes, tuition, and drinks.
Their service is broadcast in movies and books,
Rewritten, revised, and replayed to our moods.
They did what the softened civilian can’t brook
So we hail their hard hearts (but think ours less crude).
Some, though they drummed in the same brothered band
Must cover their ears with their unbloodied hands.

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