Tom Brinson

The festive crowd underneath a sea of umbrellas
Filled the beach and lined up all along
The wide boardwalk for the Jones Beach Air Show
Filled will vendors hawking their genocidal wares
Army, Navy, Coast Guard, Marines National
Guard and the mighty Air Force
Amid an extravaganza of corporate displays

In giddy exaltation roars of approval
Cheered each display of martial skill
Golden Knights parachuting, Navy Seals scuba diving
Special Ops repelling from black-black Blackhawks

But the most solemn, neck-craning, mouth-open slack, vacant-eyed
Adulation was reserved for a huge Air Force airplane
That thunderously roared by not once nor twice
But thrice to the fevered commentary of the announcer,
Blaring from mega-decibel loudspeakers accompanied by
A rousing, bass-pounding rendition of “Bad to the Bone”:

“Yessiree, Ladies and Gentlemen, the B1B Bomber, aka the Bone. The
Backbone of America’s nuclear arsenal. Carries the largest payload of
Guided and unguided nuclear weaponry ever. More firepower than 200
WW II bombers. Look at that baby. Here it comes. Aren’t you proud to
Be an American on Memorial Day? There it goes.
Doesn’t the sight of that thrill you? Listen to that roar. That’s
The sound of freedom.”

Marching with a solemn little band of Peacemakers
Marking the true meaning of Memorial Day,
Carrying a string of Code Pink ribbons for each
Fallen American soldier, some 3452 ever mounting
Thinking of the hundreds of thousands
Of Iraqi civilians casually genocided
I was disgusted, saddened by memories
Of my quagmire forty years ago in jungle

For comic relief, to ward off a plunge into keening despair
I visualize scores, thousands of Raging Grannies,
Code Pink ladies, Pax Christi nuns, Cindy Sheehanistas
and us aging Vets for Peace
Falling down, writhing on the Boardwalk
In frenzied ecstasies of simultaneous orgasms

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