TV News: D-Day
To commemorate: tour buses come from Paris
with old men who survived across seven yards—
tideline to bluffs—no cover, bodies stacking
in the shallows, surf silenced by artillery fire.
This dwindling corps bear medals on windbreakers
or uniform jackets the wife let out. One tells
a newsman, Me? I never think that much
about it. Another says, You kidding? I see and smell
it every day of my life. Our fathers’ war: mine, 4F
for impaired sight, went on a pride-bent drunken tear;
yours to the Merchant Marine, he’d fret about the ship
that went down with his buddy off Cape Ann.
Last June, at the American Cemetery, we walked
and wept through serried ranks of white Crosses
and Stars of David. Below the bluffs only waves
and birds break the silence on Omaha Beach.
What a National Guardsman Does in a Pandemic
Called up in March our grandson deployed to
a mile-wide containment zone, site of
the country’s first, largest, viral spread, swathed
in a hazmat suit to set up, and run
a big, white, party-like tent for drive-through
testing, and to calm anxious passengers.
By April reassigned to extraction,
the dignified recovery of human
remains, over two hundred New Yorkers
were dying at home daily. This mission
considered the toughest, most challenging
emotionally and physically.
Don’t tell Grandma what I’m doing…but when
you tell her...tell her don’t worry. I
signed up for whatever was needed, and
for whenever called to protect and serve.
We didn’t hear from him very often
anymore. Months later he tells his mom
quarantine’s just a precaution. Only
a cold. But yeah, maybe he had it, twice.
Maybe service done, home end of August.
No, can’t do, but psyched for 2 days, first-time
home then. But he’s pretty sure his service will be
up end of the year, home Christmas, at least.