The Flags

(San Juan, Puerto Rico)

A statement of defiance they send;
They broadcast far and wide,
Boldly flapping in the wind
With patriotic pride.

Three bright flags in the whistling sky,
Their masts are strong and tall;
“Who dares to challenge us?”, they cry
From the ancient castle wall.

Battlements rise above the shore,
Built centuries ago
In troubled times of fear and war,
To daunt the invading foe.

Now peace and freedom rule this land;
The tourists come and go;
Yet the three poles still must stand
Letting their flag-cloths blow.

As if some thought may yet live on
In the breath of these ancient stones,
Of phantom dangers, now long gone
In the dreams of soldiers bones.

Elena Brebner, 7/4/2001