Croix de Guerre

Let me tell you
chiefs and chefs,
I don’t know,
haven’t the faintest idea,
how to accept all this honor;
how to show, without fraud
or display
my deep feeling,
my gross emotion,
and all in all
thanes, your gleaming
eyes bespeak an honor
not mine, but of all
those who died, pro patria;
gutted like perch,
their holy stink
ascends to Valhalla.
But on.
Let me say thanks;
my parts are here,
arms, legs, eyes;
the net has not been
cast over my
darling anatomy,
eagles, no thanks to you-
in the baldric my scars
start and end.

So I say I am honored;
honored by your respect
and repast;
honored by the tombstone
I carry on my back.
But let me tell you,
generals and commanders,
I don’t want
lunch or dinner;
in the field the
wheat is broken
and the stumps of the
have cast their final vote,
raised dead limbs skyward.

Kameraden, let me tell you
go and give the
dead food.

About the Author

Jack D. Harvey’s poetry has appeared in Scrivener, Apricity Magazine, The Comstock Review, Bay Area Poets’ Coalition, The Antioch Review, The Piedmont Poetry Journal and a number of other on-line and in print poetry magazines. The author has been a Pushcart nominee and over the years has been published in a few anthologies. The author has been writing poetry since he was sixteen and lives in a small town near Albany, N.Y. He was born and worked in upstate New York. He is retired from doing whatever he was doing before he retired.