Friday, May 27, 2005

My Memorial Day column posted

My column is up at Friday's Klips, for anybody who is interested in my view of Memorial Day celebrations.

I will be going to the nearest major body of water (the Mighty Mississippi), Monday, to contemplate the contributions my grandfather and his navy brethren made in service to our nation. Someday, I hope to make the trip to Savo Island, to see the seas above his bones.

In the meantime, I will have to make do with photographs taken by Tom Ballard and his colleagues, and use my imagination.

On viewing photographs taken by
remote controlled camera to study
the Quincy

When the hull was punctured
And you were
Sucked into the icy blue
And you became
No longer real to us –
Knowing that we would fail to believe
Your vanished body might not
Turn up on some forgotten beach
Another Robinson Crusoe
To come home a hero –
Did you, I wonder,
Scratch and claw and rail against
The tide that took you down,
Or did you welcome your release
From a world at war with itself
And hearing those Sirens’ songs
Happily join your shipmates
In a quiet coral garden
Built on bones of battleships?

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