CORPORAL DEMPSEY

by James Frazier

 

Heroes are made immortal.

For heroes, they make bronze statues

And put on parades on beautiful Spring days,

When the White Ash and Willow flowers bloom overhead.

All to commemorate the valiant acts

That heroes commit in the name of peace.

Upon my steed I sat, wearing medals I had not earned,

And waving at people who believed

My tall tales of valor that I had borrowed.

Then a garter snake spooked my horse into hysteria.

He bucked and kicked until I fell, striking my head.

Now I lie alone in this foxhole

That I had heard so many stories about —

Ashamed, for my tales did not follow me,

And my purchased heroism was stripped from me.

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