The Last Formation

When Dandelion’s rise to weave a carpet widely spread
‘round every gravestone, late in May, we honor our brave dead.
The soldiers and the sailors, once so scattered by each war,
now stand Their last formation, undivided evermore.
Each daughter, now forever gone, each lost and missing son,
thought not to fear Their dire end, would never turn to run.
For every fallen soldier that once bravely took a stand,
did so, with pride and for a cause: This People and This Land.


We rise at dawn, with purpose, all to make this somber day
one filled with tiny, waving flags. We march. We cry. We pray.
Old soldiers and young children walk together side by side.
Each footstep drums out Freedom’s song. Each teardrop sings out Pride.
As carbines ring out shots above, symbolic of Their fall,
each volley’s lofty flight will touch the heart within us all.


The Lilacs fall to slowly form a sea of purple waves
that gently travel to and fro between Their valiant graves.
Defiant headstones, standing fast, unswayed by Springtime’s breeze,
shout "Honor all these silent souls who cannot stand At Ease".



B. Swan

April 1998