Crosses and stars and a crescent or two
Standing attention in perfect lines
Around the old man.
Valor he screamed
Security and Sacrifice
And on until the carillon chimed noon
And iron men came to change the guard,
But I couldn’t hear the rest.
There was too much noise
Too much grinding
He ranted on—I assume about sacrifice—
His body soft from leather chairs—
But the grinding was too much.
I strained to hear the old man’s voice
Or catch it on the wind.
But sacrifices had been made
And under the bone-white crosses
The bones of young men were turning