Do You Remember Me

Here in the mists we linger
hundreds of us
thousands
even millions
can you see us

At Actium
I marched in the second column
a swordsman
and died on the field
do you know my name

I was fifth off the landing craft
on Omaha Beach
a rifleman
I died before reaching dry sand
do you know my name

At Gallipoli
at Vicksburg
at Stalingrad
and Hastings
do you know our names
do you remember us

We are not the pawns of your game
not even bit players
we are less than that
we are fodder for your bombs and bullets
your cannon and spears
we are collateral damage
mere numbers among numbers
to be bandied about in hushed tones
as you sit in your high chairs
addicted to your games
playing because you cannot stop yourself
cannot even pause to consider the havoc
your pastime brings
we are the fuel to fire your ambitions
the sacrifices to justify your fame
once we had lives
do you remember us
do you know our names

We are the ghosts of those slain
in the schools and theaters
in the stadiums and subways
do you know our names
do you remember us

At Orlando
At Nice
At Charleston
And Aurora
these places
they are our memorials

We had lives once
and names
our families remember
but who else
do you remember our names
do you remember

Marv Himmel
August 10, 2016 ©

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