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.