Along the Appalachian foothills highway
sallow leaves drift.
On the median, banks of yellow flowers
late in the season.
Today flags and bunting will drape the chain link
fences and cracked windows.
The red Jesus Heals fliers will litter the downtown streets,
like everyday, like the smell of ash in alleys.
Somehow I believe the day’s dead would prefer wild
September poppies from Southern red clay.
Not a patriot’s memorial of frayed cloth,
but a blaze of living memories.