Our Life Again
In grad school behind a wall of books, sealed into the words of Poe, Stevens, Hemingway Faulkner, Salinger, Albee. Dominoes fall and Goliath lies, claims a David from Viet Nam dared sling a torpedo at one of our ships. We attack Communism and those fierce, small, black-clad people as if our economy depended on it. In love with Lydia, a young nurse, fingers as gentle on my body and soul as her patient hands on the dying. That was our life. I dropped out of school, buried my love of books, chose a love of marching. Lydia nursed us through protests to foment a revolution that had no more chance than our nation could keep from shooting missiles at foreign lands. Once again the world is at war, this time another Goliath against another David, its own brother as Russia attacks Ukraine. The bombs fall and people flee just as they did so long ago. This is our life again.
In our apartment building, when I was a child, old Mrs. Greta Shultz horrified me. We lived by an airport, every whining sound of jets sent that creaky lady scuttling under the kitchen table, duck and cover every time, air sucked in, moans-- for her an American Luftwaffe, Slaughterhouse Dresden memories-- her mind recoiling at the screaming sounds from her younger girl day/nightmares. Despite heart-felt pleas, Greta was safe under the table. After years of marriage, we rescued a dog. She had been caged for months in cold wire. We gave her our warm and safe home. But when my wife ever went out, Butter would mewl by the door, shiver and shake till the door opened, de-plane on my wife's lap. No coaxing mattered. You can’t unlearn old tricks.
Stalin: A Slice of Death
At twelve I was aware of the world. News flash during Ramar Of The Jungle: Joseph Stalin dead of a heart attack. I jumped up and yelled through my house as if the Devil himself had finally been slain. When he had a traitor executed, the whole family was killed like Achan’s tribe at Jericho. Terrorizing the population, sent his soldiers into big cities, to murder a few thousand innocents. Slew over half of his advisors. Would throw parties, shoot those not drunk enough. Chased down Trotsky in Mexico. Axed Leon, his comrade who dared to oppose him. Loved flowers but at the end nightly commanded his gardeners to decapitate every blossom and replace the flowers the next day for another pogrom of his garden. Absolute power over more people than anyone in history, estimates of over 20 million slaughtered. Why obeisance to the One, allow One to dominate us, allow One to kill so many, allow One to hoard the wealth, bend the knee to One, kiss the ring of One?
Poems ©2022 Vern Fein
All rights reserved
…a retired special education teacher, has published over two hundred poems on over eighty sites, a few being: *82 Review, Bindweed Magazine, Gyroscope Review, Courtship of Winds, Young Raven’s Review, Sledgehammer Magazine, Rat’s Ass Review, Poesis, and Monterey Poetry Review. Recently his first poetry book—I was Young and Thought It Would Change—was published by Cyberwit Press.