FERN CREEK, 1960

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.

 

About left0089

Columnist at American News Report. Pain care activist. Poet, memoirist.
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