Faded and dirty
Tattered and torn
It hangs as a pauper’s rags
Frail and fragile and tenuous
As if melting
Into the steel gray pole
That tethers it
Holds it hostage
To wind and storm.

It taunts me
I know that I could
Do something
About the indignity
I have seen in the heat
And now the cold;
Have watched
In wind and rain
Hang below me
Across a wide street.

A twisting conscience
To my dilemma of
Knowing the right
Thing to do
But rationalizing
It’s not mine
To change
To lower
To burn.

Instead, I wait for
The wind and sleet and snow
Of winter storm
To come and blow away
That tattered banner
And with it
The tethered shame
Of my indecision.


5 responses to “Tethered”

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  1. Carolyn says:

    Is this outside your window? Do the American thing; put blinds up!

  2. Julie says:

    Well done. Nice ode to a noble friend who has done its duty and should go to rest. We are very sensitive to this. As scouters we have attended many retirement ceremonies.

    Rick rescued a flag in similar predicament over Thanksgiving weekend. It was not yet tattered but hanging precariously at a lakefront club closed for the winter.

    • Karen says:

      Did he contact the owner? We don’t have anyone to call over there. I do know that a sexual offender is over there because we got a card. Not ready to make contact!

  3. Julie says:

    From Rick – Maybe contact your local scouts to see if they are willing to stop by with a new flag and an offer to retire this one.