Monarchs and generals

seldom know meadows

that haunt soldiers late in life

where butterflies go

to seek the sun


When they do, they masquerade

as heroes on parade stands

claiming full honors due

forgotten regiments felled

on fields of fire


War room warriors need not march

side by side with men who’ve worn

combat boots and carried rifles,

nor be crowned with laurels,

have the colors raised,

or statues cast in memoriam


They were never there soldier to soldier,

battle after battle, eye to eye,

in the tumult, stench and grime

of those days when smoke

devoured the light




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