life contracts and death is expected,
as in a season of autumn.
the soldier falls.
he does not become a three-days personage,
imposing his separation,
calling for pomp.
death is absolute and without memorial,
as in a season of autumn,
when the wind stops,
when the wind stops and, over the heavens,
the clouds go, nevertheless,
in their direction.
(from stevens, collected poetry & prose, p. 81)
* * * * *
this is timely for Fourth of July, although it is not perhaps joyous enough for the feastday. It is a melancholy, if true, picture of what it means to be a soldier who doesn't return.