This past Veteran’s Day, remembering looked different to everyone. To some, it seemed a day to beat the drum for how we have made a “great” America. For others, it was the reminder of the horrors of war. For me, it was remembering our oldest family members, and realizing anew that there were some stories they never told.
straightforward: a waving flag,
a love of homeland,
a readiness for service,
gratitude for sacrifice.
patriots vary –
ancestors slaves or slaughtered,
clinging to broken pieces
gathering shards to make Home.
despite its defects
this is my Home, my country
flawed, like that uncle
at Thanksgiving who argues;
loved, like the kid’s table’s smiles.
Chōka – the long version of the tanka – consist of 5-7 on phrases repeated at least twice, and conclude with a 5-7-7 ending. I didn’t quite do that, and my envoi is completely a mess, but…meh, the exercise is to write gratitude poems, and I’m not going to worry about it.