Thursday, February 02, 2006

The Anthem

On the ship, I sit and wait for the dawn
In the midst of the bombs and rockets and so forth,
A prisoner of these British marines who might shoot me,
You never know in a situation like this.

Like so many great moments in history,
You come upon it without meaning to.
You're a lawyer who goes to negotiate for the release of a prisoner
And voila you become one yourself.

There is this incredibly perious fight going on
And I suppose a person should be thinking about freedom
Or bravery but I must admit
I would give anything for a cup of coffee right now.

Like a Starbucks made by a girl in a striped blouse,
A latte streaming and gleaming.
But that seems less likely at the moment
Than Betsy Ross doing a striptease, stripe by stripe.

The graceful arc of the rockets, like Don
Larsen's curve ball for the Bronx Bombers.
He was a hero and then suddenly he was gone.
I wonder what's going to happen to that flag.

Somebody could write a poem about this,
Something to mark this whole thing that's going on,
But if they did, probably they shouldn't include
The coffee and the part about Betsy dropping the flag.

--Billy Collins

Actually it was Garrison Keillor impersonating Billy in the latest issue of The Atlantic. If you would like to see his impersonation of Whitman, Dickinson, Frost, Cummings, Carlos Williams, or Snyder, let me know I'll be happy to include them here.

Lindsay Peterson (LP) is the one that shared the wisdom with me the other day. She works and learns at AdventSource, while attending CVA.



At February 03, 2006 10:08 PM, Blogger bryant said...

I would be interested in reading a few more.


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