Memorial Day

It is so very faded now, the red suggested in the folds. The sides are fallen, not only weathered, not even worthy of recycling. If a cigarette was left casually, even that would be gone and no one would remember how the barn had once been raised. We needed it for the lower pasture. There were things growing, cows giving birth, eggs in the coop. That was happiness. The boards came out of the truck, long and rough, shirt tied around his waist, sweating. The nails going in with steady rythym breaking through the birdsong, scaring them away. Hammering and cutting. The smell of cut wood strong then. Working simply, with a lunch break and long pulls of lemonade. Nothing is left of that. He can feel the anger simmering, the sorrow a scar in every attempted thought. The radio comes through in static gulps, the number of losses tallied. So why do the announcers sound nearly happy? Another flag to fold and place on top of the bookcase. Looking down when the gloved hands were proferred with murmers of expected sympathy. He lets himself hate, for a full three minutes, the sun coming down on his face hard before pulling his sunglasses back into place and driving away.

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