The Last Soldier

David M. Horst

I saw the parade pass by with the last soldier marching.
I saw politicians stand by not in pride, but in shame as they recited the names of the dead and admitted their failure.
I saw the marching band step in time to silence, no more hymns of glory could they play.
I saw mothers and fathers say, “No, I will not sacrifice my child on the altar of a nation’s pride.”
I saw flags no longer madly waved, but held in quiet reverence.
I saw the granite statues crack and crumble, symbols to the waste of war.
I saw the last solider give his final salute and the trumpeter play taps one last time.
I saw the end of brutality and death.
I saw the graveyard flags turned to threads by the ceaseless wind.

Army soldier in dress uniform playing Taps at Arlington National Cemetery