We’re patriots
We watch war pan out from our bedrooms;
jump off the couch
in celebratory hi-fives
every time we score.
We shout slogans
for our country –
against another.
Take out candle marches
for our brave departed.
We demand this spectacle
in the name of pride and honour.
And when the show is over,
we go back –
to our ordinary lives,
interspersed with infrequent remembrance;
a few words of gratitude;
occasional solidarity.
Rattled, but not shaken –
we’re patriots.

And when all is done,
and the dust has settled,
life is not so ordinary…
for some.
A breadwinner, a sounding board, a loved one gone…
They live with a permanent void –
with pride and honor and dignity;
and bills to be paid,
and pain behind their smiles…
marked by mettle of the martyr.
The dreams of what could be
clashes the reality that is.
They’re patriots –
they speak
with silent sacrifice.