Poetry: The Flag of Surrender

We saw the flags that were left hanging
burned white by years of sun
like a bone left in the desert.

Thinned by winds, torn by storms,
worn down,
until there was no more left
than ghostly cobwebs–
stars and stripes long gone,
a tender white,
surrenedered to the earth and sky.

I wrote this poem when I saw an old American flag bleached almost white in a Yreka trailer park.  To raise a white flag is a traditional means of surrender.  It occured to me that all flags will turn white in time, just as all great nations will fall and all borders will dissolve, inevitably surrendering to the elements, humbled before the everlasting spirit and the ever-enduring earth.


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