My father would talk about the war.
|As Dad spoons sour cream on his baked Idaho,
and forks strands of alfalfa
from a Tupperware bowl, he calls up
memories of his war:
The troop ship took a week
to cross the Atlantic, and many
men became sick. They ate canned rations
and showered with salt-water soap.
Quarters were cramped, and it rained
on the ocean. They disembarked
at Le Harve, France.
Dad talks of flying over the Alps
in a DC-3, and of the increasing cold
as the plane reached higher altitudes,
and of the men reaching up
to warm their hands from the overhead heaters.
In Naples they ordered a pizza,
but the people were watching them,
and they saw hunger and sadness in their faces,
so they could not eat, and left quickly.
Dad took photographs
of the cemetery where his brother
was buried; navigator on a B-24, killed
There were long trains crossing the countryside
with weary soldiers sleeping on duffel bags.
And, near the end, there was the excitement
and joy at the cigarette camps
as the men awaited return to the States.
Dad fills his silver tea ball
with his mixture of Lipton and cinnamon spice,
and pours boiling water to the very top.
(My source was my father of course.)