He finds a Hershey bar
in his breast pocket, offers her a piece.
She flicks her cigarette into the dark,
takes the chocolate and says, Thanks, kiddo.
Stars & stripes ripple from the pole.
An old willow leans over the water,
strand after strand of green tears.
I was not quite ten years old the day we traveled
To one site of the D-Day invasion nine years before.
I asked what the trouble was. His words sounded cryptic:
“We lost a lot of men here.”
I’ll say it again and say it differently
because the horror of war must never be forgotten.
The boy hid beneath the stairs
when the Good Guys came to kill him.
She didn’t know why, but she said she was very happy, as happy as she had ever been. She was like a voice in the midst of war, a calming, soothing voice from home. He heard the words, he was moved to tears at their affection. He had survived.
Today, there are approximately 20.17 million veterans – 7 percent of the U.S. population. That’s more than 20 million stories, along with the stories of their loved ones. Sometimes poetry is the most effective way to capture both the ambiguity and the story.