Hawaiʻi Sonnet 57 (Memorial Day)

Here’s my draft for today, Memorial Day, 05.27.19

Hawaiʻi Sonnet 58 (for my father and for all combat veterans)

Now, all but a very few, the World War II veterans, like my father
sleep in these honored graveyards, a kind of peaceful, restful sleep
they might never have slept again in their lifetimes
after their loyal service, following orders, commands
to do what, I can’t imagine, and I wonder about My Lai
how in wars like my father fought, wars fought before Vietnam
it was treasonable to refuse to obey an order, and how after My Lai
that infamous and of course isolated example, it became treason
to obey an immoral order, and how these graves in Kāneʻohe
lie in perfect order, how my stunned father sleeps, one of the silent ones
who obeyed every order of war given him, how perhaps he is speaking now
on Memorial Day, of what he could not speak then, all these little flags
a sea of warriors’ voices rippling their caution against war, and their whisper
for considered remembrance of what service to country commanded of them

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