“Never Wish Me Happy” Tanka 2350

(May 25, 2019)

Oh. Please. Don’t wish me

Happy Memorial Day!

Oh. Yes. I am Glad

he got “waxed’ and ’twas not me

half-century long ago!*

*(Sure. Barbecue: but know this – if it’s under direct heat it’s a grill not a ‘cue. Sprinkle a few drops of whatever antiseptical liquid consumptive you open first to the guys – and girls – who picked a forever young advertising approach to Monday’s madness. Then slam’em down if that’s your wish. Memorial Day is America’s Day of The Dead. Somber only counts at the official post-parade festivities when pomposity sometimes overrules a quick twelve minutes and we’re off to the races! Anything needful to be said that takes more than the dozen sweeps around a stopwatch is more about the speaker than The Dead. Veterans’ Day is about us all who wore pickle suits whether in the stir or making sure the desk had the requisite number of baskets. Then – but not only then – you may bequest a beautiful 24 wish to me and my ilk. Now I’m no longer seven feet tall, invisible and immortal. I most likely will take my ease, pour the topmost portion to damnfools who didn’t wait for me to show them the elephant like I said to do – why is it damnfools (and I am at the head of that list) – never listen? Yeah, pro’lly will I don the ‘What Is A Marine’ blue tee shirt, my old-school cover with the fruit salad out front over the three-down with crossed rifles and stroll downtown to the lakefront for the 11 a.m. “do” following the parade at Veterans Memorial Park (formerly The Sanford Bandshell, now decently disremembered and gone) and labor my way through the speechifying just to be able to thumb my nose at the new edicts which say those who served may hand salute even if not in uniform, and put that cammy pickle suit cover over my heart each time that damned ol’e rag passes by and stand the entire time until – or, Heaven forfend! – I get sick of all the talk or it mercifully ends by minute dozen and I get to walk back uptown to cold beer and a shaded seat and smalltalk with dead buddies.)

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