Tuesday, March 06, 2007

The Good War?

In writing class tonight, our instructor brought objects for us to look at and write about. His mother was a Red Cross volunteer in England during WWII. The objects: A pass for the victory parade in New York 151 days after the end of WWII, led by the 82nd Airborne; a silver pocket watch, and a champagne cork. Are there ever any good wars?

19 January 1946

Winter’s wind blasts
between brick canyons,
my feet numb in my pumps,
a reviewing stand pass in my pocket,
I wrap my arms round me
and watch the 82nd march,
their smiles gaping wounds,
white bone where flesh peels back.
Ticker tape, like bomb’s detritus,
falls around me.

The lieutenant gave me your watch,
the hands frozen at 6:02.
Last January, near the Roer River,
he found your broken smile
and brought home what he could.

Tonight, I take our bottle
from the icebox
where it waited
since you rose at dawn
and I feigned sleep,
your bomber jacket groaned
as you bent to promise
our toast on your return.

I fill my glass
and raise it
in my still silent goodbye.


The Curmudgeon said...

No, there are no good wars -- even if, sometimes, war is necessary.

The people who know war best -- the soldiers -- are often the most eloquent advocates of peace.

Cynthia Bostwick said...

Oh, Mudgie, and the widows and mothers know the loss too--and now we have mothers off there fighting, too. With nearly a quarter million wounded roaming our villages and towns, one hopes there is heard a unified voice for peace among them. Hope you are healing as well--