The foursquare hundreds
stand stiffly elbow to elbow,
rattling their muskets to the piping
of the autumn wind.
Still wearing the plaid colors
of their troops,
weathered yellow, green and brown,
their identical faces turned upward
in the same direction,
still following with slavish devotion
the fascist sun, now gone for good
over the summer horizon.
They’ve marched too long--
their wide eyes are empty
of the seeds of dreams,
of heroic missions;
by the advancing season,
their faces sealed by the first frost.
Soon they’ll fall where they stand,
lying down in the fields of forever.
Mary Lux, a Milwaukee poet and former librarian, has her M.A. in Creative Writing from UWM, and is a member of the Wisconsin Fellowship of Poets. She has published in Free Verse, the Wisconsin Poets Calendar, the Milwaukee Zen Center Newsletter, Wisconsin Poets at the Elvehjem Museum of Art. She won honorable mention in a Lorine Niedecker poem contest, and was the winner of the Donn Goodwin award in this year’s Irish Fest 2013 for a poem about her Irish great-grandmother, an Ashland, Wisconsin pioneer.