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Narrative for Veteran’s Day

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Narrative for Veteran’s Day


I hope the veterans

Have a good day today

They served

Time to be serving them

Certain restaurants

Will do that literally

(track the ads)


There was a draft

I was in school

A war for oil fomenting

As if primordial

Muck were heating

In the gulf

(not that war

in the gulf

or the next one)

There was an energy crisis

Hiding profits


I didn’t want to fight

For companies’ oil

But when on the application

I was asked

If there were anything I would fight for

I had to answer yes

And so ruin the deal for c-o

And the draft board changed

My status

(they won’t admit to punishment)

From 1-H to 1-A


Well, that war didn’t start

There were numbers

But no draft

I finished school

And then the next one

And with Watergate

Had reasons to feel bitter

Toward my government,

Which since then

Has become increasingly

Stupid and useless


But love of country

All the stickers

All the posters

The Bicentennial

If we forget who is in charge

There are superlative reasons

To be serving

And they have served

Time to be serving them


My brother

And my father

And my grandfathers

Came back

My friend Patricia

Returned, retired

A full colonel


There are those

The many, many those

Who did not return

And have their days

And who cannot remember them?

Anytime and every time

We should?


Red poppies will festoon

And sides of buildings carry

Words of verses

“In Flanders Fields”

And that is London today

Here there will be flowers, too,

And flags

And I hope everywhere

That she has served

And he

And they

And all the fields

Nourished by remembrance

With all the hopes

And wishful strategies

To change


C L Couch



carrying the burden of a nation

Photo by Joel Rivera-Camacho on Unsplash

U.S. Marines with Combat Logistics Regiment 17, 1st Marine Logistics Group, I Marine Expeditionary Force, conduct vehicle recovery drills on Camp Pendleton, California, Apr. 6, 2021.The Marines of Motor Transportation Platoon pride themselves not only on their vehicles, but on each Marines’ hard work, dedication, and drive to excel in all they do.

Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton, Fallbrook, United States


Weather Permitting

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Weather Permitting

(in pandemic time)


The texts say

I have a doctor’s appointment


A fedora of adventure,


I’ll go,

If the car is working well

Enough (been turning

rough, lately)


And should there be snow

Or rain or ice,

I’ll go as carefully as I can

If the street is clear enough

And the car isn’t

Covered over

Too much


You see, the second

Winter skyfall

Of the season is

Predicted later today


Into the morning hours


Say I get there

I’ll need marching orders

For masking, distancing

Simply to go inside


Then there’s the reason

Hopefully, I’ll have

A list

I’m hoping, really,

That we’re meeting

Over vaccines


C L Couch



Photo by Jason Jarrach on Unsplash


All Souls Narrative

All Souls Narrative

Picnics by the graveside, skull candy, many
lights inside the darkness, families

the dead who live again in heaven always
and with us here just now in our memorial

ways; if

family outings can be sacred, then this
is it.

There was a small cemetery across
the street from where I lived; I would

walk there and once
enjoyed a staring contest with a deer.
We’d look; whoever took a step toward
the other, the other would move back:

an hour of this, and we were done.

On another night and once a year, respectful
people would show up to place a candle
on each stone; this was

unofficial yet quietly and happily done—a
day of the dead
for the living.

There was music, too.

The deer would object, I’m sure, the
flames, the crowd, the noise
however small, and all; but

Deer has all the forest behind
and, I’m sure, its own way
of remembering, as I

remember her
in the days I have until remembrance
will be for someone else.

C L Couch

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