December 7

I remember this day

not because I was there

nor were any of my fore-bearers there

nor is there a song jingling in my head.

I remember this day

not because I am Japanese

nor Hawaiian nor in the Navy or Airforce

nor have I visited the sunken Arizona.

I remember this day because

back in fourth grade at the Canby 91 School,

the principal told us a story about a family

who gave up four sons to go fight the next day.

I remember this day because

I could never understand war, not really,

not the way politicians wanted us to understand it,

Because even 9/11 feels cowardly in comparison.

I remember this day because

it would be unpatriotic not to,

because loss riddles the holidays

as we smile and sing through them.

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