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Generational Loss

by James Walton (follow)
I should have asked my father, how it was
When the rest of the gun crew, unzippered by fire
From the sky in teenage years, that should have
Yawned in happy slowness, rather than a sticky mess
On decks washed suddenly away in new death

How it was to learn so cruelly, that time is
An enemy fighter engaged mercilessly on a mission
Pre ordained without human kindness as guide
That will meshersmitt or kamikaze you unexpectedly
Uncaring of the return fire of events and happiness

Or how your back tingled in the kiss of soft sun
When stripped of the pretentious glare of others
How they went on, tendering the tomatoes and
Bringing in the dozy cows for the morning milking
When a world away from his eighteenth birthday

Massive shells blew out the candles on the seasick cake
As outgunned they ran the waves in the chase of
All those other boys who knew so much later too
After the crest the dream crashes down belly whacks you
With the depth charge soundings of doubt in peace

That the answer to the questions, how they fall
And rise in the threshing of events, of why is
The sky blue, or how do trees hold up the clouds,
And where do people come from, how it is
Too late for all of the generations.


photo by my father, live action during Battle of the Atlantic
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