The morning air feels fresher here.
All at once, next to a mound
of newly dug earth, rifles appear
to salute a cloudless sky. And while
they do, somebody’s choked-back tears
are muted by the blanks sounding
until each barrel descends
in place, as two young soldiers file
alongside the tri-colored bier.
Both fold, then one expertly bends
the flag into a perfect wedge.
While a boy who used to play “War” near,
camouflaged by some neighbor’s hedge,
no longer plays. Today war ends.