Posted tagged ‘A day of leaving poem’

Red Letter Day

June 6, 2014


Red Letter Day

D– Night–
what makes laden men alight
into depths of icy water,
if not drowned,
met with slaughter–
Is it the one behind
who pushes?
Is it the naught behind
that rushes?

Dear Day
becoming night,
sun itself takes iron flight–
cloudburst sand replaces dawn
streaking crimson on and on–
Trees leave craters
coast apes moon
scraps of limb
strafe every dune–

D– Day,
dear God–
what remains–
so thick the sod
sown with crosses
row on row
on row on row on row on row–

I feel a little pretentious writing of D-Day, but my dear dad was in World War II, in the European Theater as well as Pacific, coming through the beaches of Normandy (a short while after the initial invasion force), so can’t help feeling especially moved  on the 70th anniversary.  Please note that I don’ t mean the poem to be flippant–I am very uncertain of the title for that reason and worried that the poem has a very negative feel. Of course I do not mean to diminish in any way the intense bravery of the troops or of the allied cause. I mainly was just thinking of the terrible casualties.  

The poem was inspired by Herotomost’s post on with real toads about writing a letter.  I tended to think of  letter in both senses.   

There are vast cemeteries in Normandy, of troops who died in the Allied invasion.

I don’ t think this photo particularly goes with the poem, but I took the photo a few days ago and like it.