The assembly point was the white church.

The Flag Day parade was about to commence.

Old Mrs. Dean pinned us with crosses and

scattered small American flags like seeds.

"Do well and you shall be rewarded!"

Roger Tweed's long legs ate up the ground.

Freckle-faced "Red" matched him stride for stride.

Bobby's sandy head was bounding like a ball,

while my stubby legs struggled to keep pace.

God and Old glory tingled within our scarlet blood

Bodies wilted under the rays of a summer's sun,

but the fervor of crusade and daydreaming

of the promised "reward" fended off fatigue.

Under the linden tree I linger at the graves of

Mrs. Dean and Roger. "Red" and Bobby are lost

In Life's forest. Whenever I eat ice cream and cake

I taste the memory of Flag Day parade, 1936.

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