Veteran’s Day Armistice Day
marching down the avenue
all the Civil Air Patrols
oh, such babes in uniform
shaven necks like fledglings
little heads poke out from nest
how can they withstand the test
how can we not want the best
for these children’s innocence

While after the last unit
come the grizzled remnant
those old guys known all along
victory parades postponed
St. Patrick’s rear guard attendants
the guys who said no to war
that went on gratuitous endless
wise guys that knew better
as if somehow they could save
us all with a “V” for victory
become the Peace Sign and
all those non-violent men
who couldn’t stand to hurt anyone
marching together the good part
of dismounted drill all one
kids and grizzled vets actually
really, eternally, heavenly all
         One Thing
marching down the avenue


James Van Looy has been a fixture in Boston’s poetry venues since the 1970s. He is a member of Cosmic Spelunker Theater and has run poetry workshops for Boston area homeless people at Pine Street Inn and St. Francis House since 1992. Van Looy leads the Labyrinth Creative Movement Workshop, which his Labyrinth titled poems are based on. His work appears weekly in Oddball Magazine.