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poetry Memorial Day

For California poet Joe Zaccardi our holiday of memory brings back wartime scenes of flying and hope of rescue.

Memorial Day

By Joe Zaccardi


There’s so much in the sky:

gods of course, angry fathers,

magicians, nymphs,

and a cat scratching white

claw marks across it all,

courtesy of the Blue Angels.

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The noise. The racket.

Banging, clattering,

everyone in the mood

to remodel, repair, replace

an old screen door, re-cane a chair.

And it isn’t even summer,

yet smoke from barbecues

carries the smells of charred steaks

and drumsticks. Some people,

children? They all look so small

from my perch of a house,

are flying kites, if only

they’d get out of the way.

Wind hushes this day, reminds

me of past battles; the waving

arms of those below seeking

rescue. Today a day of memory.

Darkness will cover tomorrow.

Tomorrow is the invisible

silence of air.

 Joe Zaccardi’s sixth book of poems, Songbirds of the Nine Rivers, was published by Sixteen Rivers Press.