Parents Mourn a Soldier

April in Paris
Or autumn in Schenectady,
For falling stars and moonlight
It’s the same old smooth routine

No matter how we kneel
Or even if we topple in,
No matter how we rue
Our squandering

A death is just a death,
No bridge

And this, the rag they left us with,
As common as a tablecloth –
Though more reliable when hoisted high
For cloaking sin