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David Chapman


Crosses and stars and a crescent or two

Standing attention in perfect lines

Around the old man.

Valor he screamed

Security and Sacrifice

And on until the carillon chimed noon

And iron men came to change the guard,

But I couldn’t hear the rest.

There was too much noise

Too much grinding

He ranted on—I assume about sacrifice—

His body soft from leather chairs—

But the grinding was too much.

I strained to hear the old man’s voice

Or catch it on the wind.

But sacrifices had been made

And under the bone-white crosses

The bones of young men were turning