Half Staff

I’ve just about

lost count, haven’t

you? Who is it this time?

How many shot dead

and duly recognized?

I’ll tell you what it means

if it means anything at all,

Old Glory in decline,

the lowering of all we held

sacred until the banner

never meant to fall itself

lies useless, lifeless

on the pavement.

What will we do then?

Will our thoughts and prayers

that couldn’t keep it up

avail to raise it up again?

Will we who wouldn’t pull

with all our might

to make it fly stoop

to pick it up

or merely wonder why

it droops so low again?

I’ll tell you why.

I’ll tell you what I think

if it means anything at all.

The white is for cowardice.

The red is the blood of innocence.

Blue is for wishful thinking and

the stars all live in Hollywood.