War Memorial by Ellen McGrath Smith

by Leslie Anne Mcilroy

Underneath the idea of the war memorial, strategies, righteousness, and the teeth of the enemy ground to cement. Our foundation, they tell us.

Underneath this war memorial, a four-level parking garage with a Jules Verne hum and the hiss of stray water that makes it seem alive. On its wide outside lap, bathing beauties skim naps in the affable breeze.

My brother's son is learning Farsi words in California. He will need them as MP
in his deployment to Afghanistan. A weekend in Las Vegas has been planned.

Above the war memorial, friendly clouds skip over blue in perfect Friday June
complaisance. Inside, platoons of folding chairs. Plaques and medallions, loose
white hairs.


Ellen McGrath Smith teaches at the University of Pittsburgh and in the Carlow University Madwomen in the Attic program. Poems have appeared or are forthcoming in Cimarron, Bayou, Quiddity, Now Culture, Sententia, The American Poetry Review, Cerise, The Same, Kestrel, Oranges & Sardines, Diner, 5 a.m., Oxford Magazine, The Prose Poem, Southern Poetry Review, Descant (Canada), and others. Flash fiction published or forthcoming in Weave, Switchback, Thickjam, Thumbnail, The Shadyside Review, and Atticus Review. Her poetry has been recognized with an AROHO Orlando Prize, an Academy of American Poets award, a Rainmaker Award from Zone 3 magazine, and a 2007 Individual Artist grant from the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts.