Remembering the Day

Veteran’s Day, 2010

South Grand Ave., St. Louis, Missouri

The international store overwhelms
with scents of Chinatown spices,
durian, papaya,
dried chiles and Japanese candies.
In theory, the goods are arranged
by country,
but remain a pleasant jumble.

Moroccan tangines and Asian rice bowls
are tucked amid ginger beer and shrimp crackers
on white 1960s shelving
as three different languages
mingle in the air.

This is America:
bled for on battlefields,
yet built from within
by wave upon wave
of others
becoming us.

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