Marching in Summer Days
The men came marching down the street,
And the afternoon was quickly filled with their presence.
The men, all different, but also alike, walked
In the avenue, as we pushed people to see them better.
Their uniforms, cleaned and ironed, glowed
In the midday sun, and their hats made them look
More distinguished. They seemed larger than anyone
We knew, as statues marching in front of us.
Some played the drums, and our feet moved
With their rhythm, as if we too were marching
With them. But we were kids, and they were man,
And their firm steps sounded like thunder.
At times, if you fixed your gaze on them, they looked
As if they were not moving, like carved wood
Figures, perennial in the summer day,
And in our memories.
But they were man, real man, marching for us,
Marching to celebrate something we didn’t know.
Men, following the leading drums,
Remembering those who didn’t return.