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Monday, February 05, 2007

The Old Liberators

When I worked at the UMD Art Department, I made friends with a professor named Tom Hedin. He was very friendly and I felt like he and I could be friends outside of the office. I was intrigued by his office actually, most professors had a couple of shelves of books. Tom's office had shelves from floor to ceiling. And I mean to the ceiling. When I left the job Tom gave me a book of poetry written by his brother Robert. At the time, I thanked him for it, but after perusing a couple lines, I kinda tossed it aside, think he was a no name. A few weeks ago I picked it up and read the title poem.

And now I share it with you.

The Old Liberators

Robert Hedin

Of all the people in the mornings at the mall,
It's the old liberators I like best,
Those veterans of the Bulge, Anzio, or Monte Cassino
I see lost in Automotive or back in Home Repair,
Bored among the paints and power tools.
Or the really old ones, the ones who are going fast,
Who keep dozing off in the little orchards
Of shade under the distant skylights.
All around, from one bright rack to another,
Their wives stride big as generals,
Their handbags bulging like ripe fruit.
They are almost all gone now,
And with them they are taking the flak
And fire storms, the names of the old bombing runs.
Each day a little more of their memory goes out,
Darkens the way a house darkens,
Its rooms quietly filling with evening,
Until nothing but the wind lifts the lace curtains,
The wind bearing through the empty rooms
The rich far off scent of gardens
Where just now, this morning,
Light is falling on the wild philodendrons.


DLcousin 2/06/2007 05:28:00 AM  

Talk about descriptive! That's what poetry is really all about. What first caught my eye was the mention of Monte Casino; that's where Kurt Leopold was shot down, and now it seems the lights are really dimming in his house.