They plow up from the tree line, voracious
and blind, single-minded, he thinks. Sneaky.
Burrowed trails hidden deep in dank bluegrass
Collapse when stepped on into soggy warrens,
their razored claws inches away, grinding.
“Like Hitler’s Wehrmacht,” he sniffs, “blitzing
Your mother’s garden; through ranks
of plants, tomato, melon, peas and corn
they rasp, every night, leaving shriveled husks.”
Barefoot and sweating my father huffs through
the backyard again, tracking them, their trails,
really. They never haul up, cooperative,
into Kentucky sunlight, shake their eyeless
heads free of grasping dirt, announce
their arrival and wait all docile-like
for his pine stained Louisville Slugger to pulp
their nasty bodies. The just go deeper,
sensing his heavy footfall, his resolve.
Later, punchy drunk and armed for Normandy
all over again, a flashlight against
humid dark, he’s stalking “Nazi bastards.”
We watch from the porch all stiff and spooked.
flash-bang, flash-band. “God damn it. God DAMN it.”
Reloads, sights down his double-barreled
Shotgun. “Achtung, you filthy bastards, ACHTUNG.”
The recoil stuns him, lands him on his back,
the flashlights beam sulks through drifting cordite
haze, rises through breathless trees. We lead him
inside, settle him at the kitchen table. Unscathed,
those bastards tunnel through my moonless night.