March 26, 2023

November 11: Two Poems

1. Walt, do you mind if I climb on your shoulders–

Once upon a time I climbed on my father’s shoulders
wearing my itchy blue sailor dress with the white stripes
to watch an Armistice Day parade

surrounded by people enjoying thoughts of peace.
I too gladdened by thoughts of peace up there on my father’s shoulders
where I could see above the heads

of the crowd, could feel proud (mother explained) that Armistice Day
was my birthday; today the day is re-named Veterans Day, to celebrate
the fact of war, as if we needed

yet another holiday celebrating war, none celebrating peace—
but forget that. Looking over the heads of the crowd watching the marchers
march in their uniforms, the brass band play

their banging exuberant music, girls high-stepping and tossing batons,
oh how enjoyable peace was
on my father’s shoulders

it seems that childhood memories are like ghosts
and not all ghosts want to strangle you,
sometimes they come to bless.

2. I am attempting
I am attempting to see
over the heads of the crowd
I know she is there marching

I like how the confetti
blowing past her is tinted
every pastel shade, I like…

turn your face to me
then I’ll see you

I like being taller than my father…