Days of Infamy

Jan Richardson

Jan Richardson

They died this day in 1941
   young men & old soldiers
     fathers brothers sons sailors
     taken by terrible surprise
   in their solid ships of steel
     some asleep in their bunks
      others standing on the rail
   coffee cigarettes in hands
      a tropical breeze blowing
      softly through the palms
   across their bright faces
      sitting framed ever since
      on some mantle piece
   frozen forever in time

So it was that war began
   in an act of brazen treachery
      the disembowelment of a fleet
      of the greatest nation on earth
   by an upstart island empire
      What began so infamously
      would end a mere 4 years later
   with 2 bombs from 2 planes
      surgically delivered over
      Hiroshima & Nagasaki
   bombs not meant to sink ships
      but to melt glass & concrete
      to melt not only people’s faces
   but a nation’s heart & soul

   Little Boy over Hiroshima August 6, 1945
   Fat Man over Nagasaki August 9, 1945

“For your name’s sake, O Lord,
   pardon my guilt, for it is great.

 Who are they that fear the Lord?
   God will teach them the way
     that they should choose.
 They will abide in prosperity,
   and their children
      shall possess the land.
 The Friendship of the Lord
    is for those who fear him.” ~ Psalm 25:11-14


About Peter Notehelfer

I'm a retired people person who now finds the time to watch the little details of the world without worrying about being watched by anyone . . . I live on an Island north of Seattle with my wife named Ellen, a yellow dog named McGee, a yellow cat named Gatzby, and four fine chickens . . . I read fiction, bake bread, smoke salmon, and fish whenever the weather allows . . . Oh, and yes, I try to write a poem every day simply to avoid senility!
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2 Responses to Days of Infamy

  1. “Build me a son, O Lord, who will be strong enough to know when he is weak, and brave enough to face himself when he is afraid, one who will be proud and unbending in honest defeat, and humble and gentle in victory.”
    – Douglas MacArthur

    Liked by 1 person

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