Tuesday, April 27, 2010


I think of the real men who
I knew in my boyhood, old guys
who didn’t say much about war,
but they sang loudly at parades or
band concerts at the Jersey Shore.

Anchors Away, off we go into the
wild blue yonder, from the halls of
Montezuma, those caissons go rolling.

Fighting Sea Bees, survivors of the
Bataan Death March, with Patton
in the tanks at the Battle of the Bulge.

I wish they were here now,
so I could talk to them and
find out more, so I could ask
them all about it, so I could get
more details about what it was like,
so I could truly thank them .

Instead I remember them sharing-
Pretty big rats everywhere.
I was thirsty, never been so thirsty before.
Dear God, it sure was damn cold.


Leslie said...

Nice poem. Even if they were still with us not sure how many would share. You see things in war that should never be experienced. Too bad we can't learn from the horrors


christopher said...

The last couple touched me. Thanks. I would be much freer about asking questions now if my guys were around. My birth father was a co-pilot and war hero in the Pacific theater, bringing his crew home with the pilot dead and everyone else wounded. My step-dad participated in the invasion of Okinawa as a Marine. Later he was in China, post-war. I am 64 now, born just after the war.

WR said...

I've been out of commission what with work and computer crashes ad nauseum. Am up on a MacBook now and it good to catch up with your poetry.

This was tender.

My Dad, one of the silent men, served at in the south pacific and came home with jungle rot on much of him. Still he was silent about his time in battle. I have a photo of his smiling youthful face, so proud of his uniform and doing his duty.

Thanks for remembering those guys!

Joanne said...

Indeed many have left only the echoes of their parade songs. The comments at the end of the poem are most poignant. I knew a man, for years as I grew up, a neighbor of my grandparents, who never said a word about a place he'd been called Normandy beach, in June of 1944. Not until the 40th anniversary did he tell his story, and then not much of it. We've captured some of their stories, but not enough.

Linda S. Socha said...

The sharing of so many things....hard
Nice post

Anonymous said...

meaningful tribute and sobering statement of what it was really like