Monday, April 4, 2011

Final Engagement

(
(
(
(


Final Engagement

The man told me twelve-hundred American
veterans of World War II die each month now.
The Macs and Johnnys, Jimmies and Franks,
farm-boys, city-boys; Black soldiers
once concentrated in separate divisions; men
who enlisted at Manzanar or Tule Lake; women
called WAVES whose names were Kay or
Gladys, Mildred, Lucille, Gloria, or Dolores;
conscientious objectors, veterans of another kind
of war; men with lifelong jitters, and worse, after
the war.  It's the final engagement, in which 1200
perish per month, maybe more, their photos
ghostlike on local obit websites. It's the final
assault on the jitterbug and cherry blossoms,
high-balls, unfiltered Camels, the sound of Murrow's voice,
the Lindy Hop, silk nylons, hair oil, propellers,
and a deep reticence to talk with anyone about what
happened over there, over here.

Copyright 2011 Hans Ostrom
Post a Comment