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Sean Rima: A Poem for June 6th…

I post this poem every year, on this day.

I wrote it for my daughter’s grandfather, Larry Howe, who was there.

Thank you, Larry.

rev s

 

The ballad of Buddy Howe.

The summer porch light twinkles in his eyes
as I tell a joke of some kind, and when he laughs,
he laughs with every molecule of himself, and
his old face glimmers in the night
like a Christmas tree, and
despite his eighty-odd years on a
sad & troubled Planet Earth,
in his laughter,
sipping his Merlot,
he becomes just another
smartass kid from Massachusetts,
flinging his rolled-up newspapers into the
gardens of a dozen irritated neighbors,
his second-hand bicycle splitting
the wind like a Roman chariot,
himself dreaming of

little more than a steaming hot dog
with a sprinkle of onions
in a cold bun
with French Fries on a plate
as his reward
for a job well done,

and you have to look real hard to see
the shadows etched into his boyish face
that he earned
a thousand years ago

hanging off the ropes
of a transport lurching in the crazy waves
of the gray dawn off Utah Beach, as the men
of the 29th Field Artillery routinely
lost their footing, and sank

into oblivion or were

smashed between the shifting

hulls of the boats like green

dolls made of balsa wood,

and if you have the chance to look
a little deeper still, you may also
catch a glimpse
of the shadows earned

in Bastogne, when Buddy Howe’s captain

discovered the watch and wallet
of a friend in the pocket
of a captured S.S. troop,

and then gave the

order to “Kill them all!”

and they took no more prisoners that day,

and for this, Buddy received the Bronze Star,
though I suspect he would have preferred

little more than a steaming hot dog
with a sprinkle of onions
in a cold bun
with French Fries on a plate
as his reward
for a job well done, which is why I

love him so very much, and

love to make him laugh, and also

tend to look the other way when

he is secretly snitching French Fries off

my 8-year-old daughter’s plate.

_____

Copyright 2021 bySean Rima.

 

 

 

 

 


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