An emotional Fort Knox
by Mark Vogel

My generation was freed,
but his generation volunteered to be trained
for war queuing, and Normandy Beach,
and desert theater, where eager personalities listened,
and were nipped, and dressed in tan,
and taught to be let forth in small doses,

as if the gushing spotlight was unseemly,
the community all, because so much needed
to be shipped, to be shouldered by so many,
the cattled regiments thinking of home
built to face incoming shells, or to die
en-mass, or to endure by forgetting,

until, for us, it feels as if we were robbed,
as his laconic peers locked by habit stare
at frozen marbled granite. Where did
the stories hide within, as if out of
uniform he no longer was individual
enough to leak, to voice daily breath,

though he was the only one for me
with the gruff quiet voice, the eyes that
saw all. Maybe for us children time races
and enough blown history collects at the fence,
so today oozing forth tentative
becomes okay, and I love you

sprouts like mushrooms. His disappearing
kind maybe is relieved it is up to us,
or maybe we forgot to ask, so busy looking
forward, taking for granted their looking
sideways back. Or maybe all his
last days he was watching,

his time already served, as he waited
for us to be sufficient, to be prepared
for time in the center, and for
his time to be gone.

Illya's Honey Literary Journal

Copyright by Dallas Poets Community. First Rights Reserved. All other rights revert to the authors.