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Bullets

November 10, 2011

PFC George Daborn, WWII

Picture a dimly lit cellar,

an ancient wooden work shelf,

hammers, jigsaws, bolts, wires,

sawdust coated mysteries.

Enter a young boy,

silent, curious, alone,

the basement world of his father

draws him.

See the rusty cookie tin

far back on the bottom shelf,

a place the boy had never ventured.

Open to find the bullets,

long, strangely heavy,

the brassy cartridge ending in the gray pointed tip.

Reach farther back,

the dwelling place of spiders;

touch metal — cold, smooth, sharp,

the bayonet appearing out of the darkness.

Sit now on the living room floor,

plastic soldier battlefield

spread out in silent glory.

Ask the quiet man,

the unseen scars within,

Did you kill anyone in the war?

Remember his answer,

frozen in that moment,

solemn, sudden, startling.

Sing a song of sixpence

A shot glass full of rye,

Daddy came back from the war,

but  memories don’t  die.

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