Memorial Day poetry tagged posts

To a Fallen Comrade: Daniel Johnson’s “In the Absence of Sparrows”

Even in the Before times, Memorial Day always presented a slight collision of moods. A day set aside for honoring the memory of our war dead, inside of which we relish plans to finally get the speed boat out on the lake, root for the home team, and gather round the ritual barbecue with beers in hand and jokes flying.

But in this crawling-out-of-the-pandemic time of tearing off masks, hugging our long unhugged beloveds and trying to bust loose from the rule of an invisible virus, being held up yet another weekend by notes of loss and grief may seem all the more jarring.

This is when it is good to remember something else: that loss and grief across vast swaths of this world never take a holiday, and Memorial Day weekend is always a good time to remind ourselves of that elemental truth.



I like many things about Daniel Johnson’s poem, “In the Absence of Sparrows.” Memorial Day and homage to the dead s...

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