Saturday, May 7, 2011

Fran Castan


The widow always wears a black coat.
She is cold in this coat even in summer.
She is here to receive the flag.
She is here to say hers is a small sacrifice
for God and for country. Valium
is the drug of choice for such occasions.
She will not cry out. She will not collapse.
Two men, solid as a pair of bookends,
flank her and grip her arms.
They wear dark suits or other uniforms.
"Hero," is the theme of the eulogy,
as if her husband chose to give his life.
Tonight, she will sleep with the widow's quilt,
the folded flag taken from his coffin.

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