Have you ever seen a soldier

lift the better part of his arm

upward the elbow

to a Huey hoping to return it

to his draft board,

or a guy run to a Medivac

trying to hold his guts inside

his jungle fatigues,

or a PFC fire a Forty-five

against the temple of an ancient

South Vietnamese village chief

to watch an old man’s brains

blow red and gray against bamboo walls?

Have you ever seen or heard about these things?

If not, tear down those flags

from storefronts hawking your merchandise,

and from real estate signs on Independence Day.

Better yet, turn off the old um-pa-pa,

knock off the parades, political speeches,

stay home, drink beer, grill steaks,

play volleyball, shoot horseshoes,

do anything helps you feel less guilty,

gooey, teary-eyed, joyous and patriotic,

leave the real one armed, one legged,

one eyed patriot alone

and just shut the fuck up