Dresden, it is said, was bombed to an ashen landscape,
A giant burned out match head. Explodable no more.
Small Dresdens found along our driveway no longer smell of sulphur
But remind me of Father lighting cigarettes.
My father, nicotine addicted,
Member of the greatest generation,
That saved the world from Hitler and "El Duche"
Who addressed the fascist crowds from balconies
We shake rugs from
All across a peaceful Midwest now.
Nurses used to pass out Camel packs
To steady nerves of soldiers switching trains
As they waited at stations,
Sergeants said, "Smoke 'em if you got 'em"
To put stiff soldiers all at ease.
Among foxhole faithful, it was thought
Unlucky to be third man on a match.
The first to gain attention, the second to sight how far away
The third is shot between cupped hands
That shield against the wind.
Copyright © Stephen Wilson-Floyd | Year Posted 2020
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