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Memorial Day Poetry

May 20, 2020

Shared Sacrifice

We long for the past, for people and places.

We long for time spent with other than memories.

No parade to cheer us, no blare of trumpet, no flags

to wave. We live in the forced quiet of this moment.

Sacrifice they tell us, for the common good.

Like the sacrifice our ancestors made, they who marched

away, not for a moment, not for a day. Away away, forever.


We need this quiet sacrifice they tell us, to focus

on what’s been shaken, to pray for what could be,

to hope for better days ahead. Share this sacrifice

and see what we can do to keep each other safe and well.

In war after war, women, men and boys shared the strife for flag

and country. Wreaths get placed on their graves, at monuments.

Care for the care they showed. Sacrifice on sacrifice they made.


So be even quieter today. Pause inside the pause. Remember

those who gave and gave all. Long for what’s ahead, keep

your heart ready for the next time we stand together

and raise the flag to remember how good it feels to share.

Carol Willette Bachofner

Poet Laureate Emerita, Rockland

Memorial Day 2020

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