Happy Veteran’s Day always sounds morbid in my brainspace. I know there are happy veterans out there, but the phrasing of it always upsets me. Shouldn’t we say something more like, “Dude, Sorry That Shit Happened to You. Thank You for all the Fighting, Even If We Are Morally Opposed?”.
I work all the hours tomorrow, so I’m gonna write a Veteran’s Day poem and go to sleep.
When I asked an old man what he knew of war, he said, groaning and mumbling sad through the beard, hairs lit in red, looking without seeing, looking straight past understanding, and he said, “I’ve known soldiers.” “Yes, but what do you know about war,” I asked, while opening the jar of beans. I’ve known soldiers, he said, his voice curling like smoke through the drapery. It was the first hard cold of the year, when I learned about war and darkness when the man with the small fire told me about all the soldiers, told me around a dampened burn, about the bodies thrown about for freedom, and the minds left like gourds swelled in the heat.