Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, ARMISTICE PARADE, by MARGARETTE BALL DICKSON

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ARMISTICE PARADE, by            
First Line: Down the street the khaki-clad are marching with a band
Last Line: Back she creeps to read again. ... Worn letters with french stamps.
Subject(s): Army Life; Flags; Marching & Marches; Military; Parades; Soldiers; Drills & Minor Tactics

Down the street the khaki-clad are marching with a band.
(Mother sees a dim parade, that moves with noiseless feet:
There moves Jack, her farmer-boy, who loved to till the land;
There limps Jim, the hungry one who always cried, "Let's eat" ...
He lived a few months crippled bad ... lies buried in the sand
Where buzzards wheel above his head, black shadows in the heat.)

Down the street, Old Glory high, come marching Legionnaires.
(Mother sees a dim parade with tattered battle flags).
Honoring the soldier-dead, men cast off private cares.
(Mother sees a soldier group in stained and tattered rags—
Gaping hole above his heart, her martyred Henry wears;
At one side of Brother Tom, an empty coat-sleeve sags.)

Down the street the little lads keep pace with fife and drum
(Mother sees her little lads as romping little scamps:
Jack on nine-foot stilts, and Jim a-sucking one fat thumb;
Henry cooking jungle stew at bonfires, "just like tramps";
Filching doughnuts, cookies, pie, the phantom marchers come).
Back she creeps to read again. ... worn letters with French stamps.

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