Memorial Day

Hugh Martin
Horizontal close up of a waving flag.
Photo by Lucas Sankey

Thank you for the yellow magnet on your
vehicle. My lifetime membership to
the Veterans of Foreign Wars put me
back three hundred dollars. Gentlemen’s clubs
waive my cover. Shake my hand. I’m a veteran.
Support me. Thank me. Please applaud
when I enter the airport. When I told
my mother I had to go, I cried. Hard.
In my heyday I could bench two-fifty.
Yes to bacon on everything. I can
be buried at Arlington whenever.
Applebee’s served me for free with tip, tax.
God, that girl can sing. Chew that hot dog. Hold
in that fart. Smile. Put your hand on your heart.

Hugh Martin is a veteran of the Iraq war and the author of The Stick Soldiers (BOA Editions, Ltd., 2013). He is a former Wallace Stegner Fellow and will be the 2014-15 Emerging Writer Lecturer at Gettysburg College. Photo: Karen Schiely.