The Old Flag


Torn and rent,

the old flag still flies

atop the buildings,

behind gates of wrought iron.

No simple symbol,

once woven by hand,

but now spun

of strong polyesters,

so that its colors

do not dim,

and it might not rot.

Though it bares the marks

where it’s been burned,

dirty, where it’s been

dragged through the mud,

but always found

and raised again.

Its colors are blood,

because it has been bought

and paid for

time and time again

with the lives

of those who came before,

those who are there now,

and those who will come after.

The wind stirs,

as the seasons change,

and the old flag unfurls,

even with the bullet holes,

and tears, and sins, and shame,

hope bears her up,

fills her out,

so that she reaches proud

towards the blue sky,

and the stars.

The future she so represents.

The past always recedes,

but the dream she was sewn

to represent

was meant

to endure.



DJR – 2023

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