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Bullets

November 11, 2014
PFC George Daborn

PFC George Daborn, 1941

Picture a dimly lit cellar,

an ancient wooden work bench,

hammers, hand saws, planes, and nails,

sawdust-coated mysteries.

.

Enter now a young boy,

silent, curious, alone,

the basement world of his father

draws him slowly in.

.

See the rusty cookie tin

far back on the bottom shelf,

a hidden place the small boy

had never before ventured.

.

Open, find the bullets there,

long and strangely heavy,

the brassy cartridge ending

in dull gray pointed tip.

.

Reach back even farther still,

the dwelling place of spiders;

touch metal — cold, smooth, sharp,

the bayonet pulled from the darkness.

.

Sit now on the living room floor,

plastic soldier battlefield

spread about in ordered rows,

attack in silent glory.

.

Ask the quiet man who’s there,

the unseen scars within,

Daddy, did you kill someone

when you were in the war?

.

Remember still his answer

frozen in that moment,

solemn, sudden, startling,

from someplace deep inside.

.

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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