“The one thing I never want to see again
is a military parade.” — Ulysses S. Grant
We’ve seen far too many military parades
with their missiles, marching bands
and mechanized young men.
We’ve witnessed enough high-stepping
soldiers in their polished black boots
marching to the sounds of brass.
Spare us the old men dressed in uniforms
with their sorrowful hats and sewn-on patches.
Spare us the slippery words of politicians.
Let’s return to basics: On Armistice Day
the soldiers laid down their arms on the 11th hour
of the 11th day of the 11th month.
The survivors had had enough of war.
The 11th hour is here again, the sky clear blue.