On The Beach With G.I. Joe - Poem by Doug Stewart
The Normandy Beaches were sluiced in blood,
Brown sand, red blood, gray water, bright sky.
Shot and shell hit the Landing Craft in a flood
Of metal on metal, metal on flesh, ripping men
And machines, tossing them like dolls, they fly,
Never to rise, swept under the foam, and again.
And still they come, fighting for inches, to try
Hard to achieve a foot, a yard, then up to the wall,
The Atlantic Wall, the massive wall, grown men cry,
Ignore, forget, trigger down, think scores of baseball
Games while smelling cordite and jellied gas, get
As many as you can, before they get you. Now crawl
Up and under the slot in the pillbox, covered in sweat,
Take the grenade, pull the pin in the growing sunlight,
Toss and ignore those fleshy bits that fly out, wet
Bits you don’t need to think about. Behind you climb
More of your brothers, the survivors of the landing column
Firing over your head, running into insanity and grime.
Will it ever stop? All of your senses say “NO.” the volume
Reaches a crescendo, levels and begins to fall, wait. Silence
Ragged cheers go up from all around you, but solemn.
The men who died and lived that day, held a small French patch
Against a sea of Waffen gray, the start of Liberty’s boldest catch.
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