POETS Main Page INDEX of Poets INDEX of Titles & First Lines Appleman menu

Appleman 
Philip Appleman

b.1926

 
"The Persistence of Memory"

 

We have been through them now, the silver
anniversaries: VE-Day,
the Bomb, the wreck
of Japan, all
misted in quaintness—and still
they keep coming,
brown women swirling past,
the armies somewhere behind them, burning
the villages: always the same,
the same weary women each year,
muddy skeletons lugging
the brass pots, tugging the delicate children,
camping in culverts, eating grass –
and the rich bombers run
on their shabby targets; kids
in helmets inch
through torn jungles; somewhere at sea,
ships lob shells
at the horizon – it is all a memory
of old men:
the brave planes limping home,
balding heroes sending
their sons to glory, the bleeding
always the same, like father
like son, breastplate
and buckler rusting
in a dream of blood we
move through, open-eyed,
sons of our dreaming
waiting for all the memories to fade.

© Philip Appleman
Buy Philip Appleman's poetry

POETS Main Page INDEX of Poets INDEX of Titles & First Lines Appleman menu