Today marks the 71st anniversary of D-Day, where Americans landed on the shores of Normandy.
|Library of Congress|
|Chief Photographer's Mate (CPHOM) Robert F. Sargent, U.S. Coast Guard|
Here's a poem I wrote in college about an imaginary conversation with my grandfather who survived D-Day. He died when I was five or so and I have no recollections of him.
He was Welsh and the word for grandfather is Taid, which I what I called him.
Overload on the Shores of Omaha
"I don't want to talk about it
and that's final."
I had heard these words
time and time again.
Taid never wanted to talk about his vacation in France
I would ask questions
from stories that I heard at school.
He could complain that I was bothering him
and my mother took me away
so he could rest in peace.
Then one day, he called me
to his side.
Finally he shared his story.
Only once he started,
I wanted to beg him to stop.
I didn't want to hear how afraid he was
or how the sea surged crimson
at the crack of dawn
when they landed on the shores of France.
I didn't want to hear about the bodies lying on the beach
or the ones floating
who would never swim back to shore.
He told me about the recurring nightmare,
his friends would call out for help
but there was no where to turn
and no where to run.
The next day, Taid took his last breath.
I stood proudly by his gave
but I did not cry
not even when they folded the flag
or when the shots rang out.
I played the role of his brave soldier.