Sunday, January 29, 2012

The Old 333 (Mandatory)

by Peter Greene

illustrations by rhoda penmarq





The Old 333 (Mandatory)




the old people
who were forced to join the Army
when their years ran out; boots bots and guns or
a mandatory  death  chamber: together
in adversity, they formed a regimental association, ex
changing tooth-brushes, dentures and orthopedic
inserts





saving the last scraps of their lives together in a little headquarters
building near the armoury on Bay; coffee armchairs and
few veterans, mostly  grizzled newcomers
grace the seats



the Old 333
doesn't have many returnees
when you go to war at sixty-five, still
alive, still
strong in heart enough to qualify, you
don't expect a
welcome home, just a cemetery

that, and a little pillaged
time for chess and tea; the only
ones
on the battlefield
who take naps  in the fighting








repost: the  touching
endearment
   of
old chaps and their wives doing
suicide missions
on their last night together: the
fine letters home from a grandfather
who won't be
back for Christmas but sends his love



and a jar of enemy ears,  with raisins
pickled in plundered brandy




©Peter A. Greene 2012




2 comments:

Dan Leo said...

Lovely.

Peter Greene said...

Thanks, Dan! And thank you rhoda for another splendid set of pitchers.