D – Day

Today is the 6th of June
Michael’s birthday soon
And today is a day
To remember
The beaches and the battlefields
The screeching sounds
Motorised wheels
Gun emplacements
Barbed wire fences
Tiger tanks on the offensive
Ste Mere Eglise
Carentan
Arromanches
Port en Bessin
Hobart’s Funnies
Point du Hoch
Not so funny
Bedford Virginia
Field of slaughter

My father spent that year in fighting
Five behind him
Desert sighting
This time France
And dense Bocage
Michael Wittmann
On the rampage
German ace ran amok
British 7th Armoured got a shock
Got him later
Spoils of war
Now he is history’s
Impressive star

I’ll go no further
Dad came home
In the night
The terrors came
All the bloody sights of war
All the noise
The world’s great scar
Visited him
Disturbing dreams
Then faded
With the years between
Leaving a man
Forever wiser
To the foolish ways
Or our endeavours
When war not words
Are used to take us
To the jaws of hell
There to break us

Atlantic waves
Still meet those beaches
Perfect peace
Beyond our reach is
But we must use
What memory teaches
Deeds of kindness
Careful speeches
To make this day
A true reminder
We owe a debt
To be much kinder

Brian Fahy
6 June 2021

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