Dad's Birthday

      today would have
      been my dad's
      80th birthday
      i realize a
      bit ago

      he has been
      sleeping for almost
      18 years beneath
      the sod of
      concord graveyard
      free of dreams
      of the battle
      of the bulge

      civilians shot for
      a wheel of
      german soldiers
      taken into a
      ravine and shot
      because the
      push was on
      and the allies
      couldn't slow
      down to
      fool with them

      he was sometimes
      haunted by
      such memories but
      he only spoke of
      them when he
      was drinking

      and then sometimes
      the tears would
      run down his cheeks
      that was probably
      worse for him
      than the memories
      for he didn't
      believe men
      should cry

      he brought home
      the luger and the
      walther pistols
      the huge red
      nazi flag w/the black
      crooked cross in
      a field of white
      the iron crosses and
      dress dagger snug
      in a steel scabbard
      fine wooden handle
      marked w/a silver
      the high black
      boots w/the brain
      crushing steel heel

      bounty from
      a major he
      shot from behind
      a rock
      the doomed man
      crying friend!
      friend! in his
      native tongue as
      he fell spinning
      mortally torn by
      rounds from
      the m-1 garand

      that german wanted
      to live just
      like i did
      he would sob
      he had a family
      waiting for him
      to come
      home too

      the german may
      have gotten home
      someday in
      his box

      dad is home
      in his

      lying quietly

      finally at