June 1, 2014 by The Citron Review
It’s always a question of vision in relation to light,
which seems to belabor the obvious, and yet we
quickly are hurled back to feelings of national pride
relative to the battered icon, a survivor’s pleasure
that goes beyond the hard proof of rockets, bombs,
and the spectacle and commotion that surrounds them.
Freedom and bravery are only but the start, for
three unknown verses continue unsung, expanding,
expounding upon the story. From the shore, by a stream,
the silence is broken by a breeze which blows in
synchronistic concert with the morning’s first rays
to great effect: the banner reflected in the water
overwhelms and delights. Pride, yes, but further
memories of confusion and the havoc of war,
the cleansing wash of dreaded enemy’s blood,
from which there was no refuge. In triumph
a symbol waves, and may it ever be that freemen
stand in victory and peace, humbly preserved
by a higher power’s grace and blessings,
that we answer in turn with trust and with praise.
Today we take these lyrics in stride, neglecting
Key’s happy reverence for that spangled field
of bright stars and broad stripes, instead reflecting
only our brash impatience to play ball
and somehow get on with the game.
Gary Glauber is a poet, fiction writer, and teacher. He grew up in Yonkers, NY, not far from where Willy Loman stopped for a cup of coffee. His work has received multiple Pushcart Prize and Best of the Net nominations. In 2013, he took part in Found Poetry Review’s Pulitzer Remix project. He has been widely published. New work is forthcoming in Fjords Review, Agave Magazine, Ozone Park Journal, JMWW, Stone Voices, Noctua Review, Dirty Chai, Poemeleon, Thin Air Magazine, Meat for Tea, and Deep Water Literary Journal.