That morning was like any other
sleepless, hot, inside the ships’ quarters.
A. buzz sounds overhead
as he begins his days duties
Sirens sound, voices cry out.
He scrambles to deck, choking on smoke.
Without thinking, he finds himself in water,
pulling an injured mate beside him.
For fifty years the nightmare comes.
The orange ball of fighter planes.
The screams of agony everywhere.
Deafening explosions, fire, confusion.
He gasps, heart racing,
awakened by the dream.
Today, he walks upon that beach,
tranquil, solemn, deep in thought.
On this day, he will end the nightmare,
bury the anger, shed a last tear.
He touches the name of his fallen friend,
etched in stone, the memory
frozen in his mind forever.
Once young, strong, invincible,
his body now shows the scars of time.
He looks up as the flag whips in the wind,
stands at attention, straight and tall again.
He turns and salutes, wipes that last tear,
And walks slowly to the woman
who waited then and is waiting still.