Wednesday, February 10, 2010

She started to sing. "'Keep the home fires burning,'" she sang in a thin, reedy voice, and slowly the others joined her. As I walked toward the lodge they began other songs, going quickly after a few bars from one to the next. They sang of wars they never fought, of losses they have never sustained. They were singing, forgetting the words, appropriating the harmony for themselves, convinced of a heroic desolation, toasting their sadness in the big campfire like another marshmallow. "'It's a long way, '" they sang, "'to Tipperary.'" It is indeed, I thought.

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