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Saturday, July 04, 2015


by Jean L. Kreiling

You gasp and smile at bright chrysanthemums
that bloom for just a moment in the sky,
and hardly give a thought to what becomes
of them, the black ash falling as they die.
But sometimes, buffeted by mighty booms
that follow flares of patriotic pride,
you think of patriots who met their dooms
amid such noise—red-white-and-blue’s dark side.
Why do we want to watch bombs burst in air?
Did Mr. Key imagine that we would?
That we’d perpetuate the din and glare
of combat?  Maybe we’ve misunderstood.
His anthem hailed a hard-won victory;
we’ve prettified the fires of tragedy.

Jean L. Kreiling is the author of the recently published collection, The Truth in Dissonance (Kelsay Books, 2014). Her work has appeared widely in print and online journals, including American Arts Quarterly, Angle, The Evansville Review, Measure, and Mezzo Cammin, and in several anthologies.  Kreiling is a past winner of the String Poet Prize and the Able Muse Write Prize, and she has been a finalist for the Frost Farm Prize, the Howard Nemerov Sonnet Award, and the Richard Wilbur Poetry Award.