The Wednesday before a Memorial Day

during the Vietnam War,

Sammie and Henry and Karen and Harriet,

the 4F’ they called themselves, a

“fucking fearsome fighting foursome,”

dreamed up a rally against LBJ’s tour

through the middle of the city,

handed out flyers on street corners,

nailed them to trees, shouted to students

before class, passersby at malls,

to form an awesome protest


They slashed the backs of posters

Henry stole from the campus store

with slogans in psychedelic script:


“No More War!”, “Peace Now!

“Bring Back! Little Buddy!”,

the fraternity clown drafted

for missing two semesters

due to lack of bread


And when the cavalcade rolled by them, standing alone,

fists in the air, the 4F’s chanted into megaphones

as LBJ waved his thick fingers at the cheering crowd,

hand over heart, hailing the red, white and blue,

proud of their country, proud of the boys

they watched dying on the evening news


“Damn,” the 4F’s later lamented

between classes in grad schools,

in offices high above working class stiffs

in start up homes slapped together

in gentrified zones,

“all that time in the hot sun and

Little Buddy still got himself

killed over there”


And mourned for the rest of their lives

the loss of those hours they sacrificed

scribbling on the cardboard signs

they trashed at the intersection

of 14th and South streets

that the sanitation department hauled

to the town dump the very next day






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