The East River swells and rolls,
while in squads of city soldiers
we fare well a brother fallen,
Winds winding off Jamaica Bay
bring raindrops that hide tears
of fearless men when they tumble from brims
of bowed heads.
Engines rumble like a distant army marching
toward a battle that is lost already.
Two by two on avenue they approach,
a great silverback escorting his band,
clearing a trail for the innocent dead.
We salute as one,
our fists white-gloved fury.
Only today we ignore the fight,
relieve ourselves the burden
of the ungrateful, giving us strength
to shoulder a brother’s share.