Tuesday, May 15, 2018

Not The Bright Banners by David Michael Nixon

David Michael Nixon 
Not The Bright Banners

Not the march, not even
the vigil, though it be
long, never the fast that
starves to save, but the long,
slow, steady walk, day by
day:  cooking, washing the
dishes, the clothes, working,
shopping, holding dying
hands, speaking in pain as
both lives go, one before
the other.  Not the bright
banners, but the plain flag
of the thinning hair bent
over the sick cat in
the grey hours before
clouded dawn.  The same tasks
done so many times, though
you know death has undone
so many.  Sometimes a
mild complaint, but mostly
the steady lifting of
lead straws, as though, by a
calm persistence, the long,
unwieldy weight of death
and suffering could be
lifted, as though one more,
one more small task could make
love out of a round of
endless duties, as though
fire would break loose from
one last glass of water
and free us all.

    ---David Michael Nixon

First appeared in The Comstock Review 

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