BEN

we were gathered around
the four of us
in standard party circle
beers in hand
when he interjected

“the hardest thing
i’ve ever had to do
is to deliver a flag
to my friends’ parents.
i had to stand there
saluting
straight faced
while i waited for them
to finish balling hysterically
when just days earlier
my friend had said to me
if i die
i want you to deliver
the flag to my parents.”

it came out of nowhere.
nothing prompted him
telling us this.
there was no rhyme
or reason
to it being entered into
the conversation
but i’m glad it was.

amongst the alcohol
and stupid balloons
the chit-chattering
and the laughter
all that laughter
we needed a moment
of truth.
a moment
of raw
visceral
unapologetic
humanity.

COPYRIGHT BRICE MAIURRO 2013

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