tin soldiers


    As I remember we sang a lot
    about tin soldiers even as
    our friends and brothers
    drew lots to see who would
    wade through rice paddies
    and not come home
    or come home dead inside

    I was thirteen the spring
    of the Kent State shootings
    tin soldiers and Nixon coming
    go ahead and hate your neighbor
    the image of the girl
    with her arms wide open
    sticks in my mind
    as though I saw her myself

    Forty years on I’m not sure
    any of us healed or remembered
    well but finally on our own
    one bloody morning after
    another, still looking for
    peace but not hard enough
    one tin soldier still rides away



    1. Two thoughts on a post that was again so timely for me as I’ve been thinking about my Dad the vet, Memorial Day coming up, the current wars, etc, etc, …

      One, there are no tin soldiers. They’re all just flesh and blood.

      Two, if you ever visit the “memorial” at Kent State, good luck finding it. I went thirty years ago. It is an envelope sized plaque in the ground underneath a lovely tree. To me, an enigma, much as the idea of a tin soldier.


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