The Good War

After the war of too
Many worlds, my father
Was desperate to
Save all bodies craving
Breath: cats, dogs
Deer, children and
Infirm parents, my own
Mother and fish were
Not excluded as his
Tall frame sank into the
Middle of a worn-out
Rowboat drifting deep into
The middle of an inland
Lake, water lapping, even
As the man cast out his line
Again and again, he was a
Body begging time to relax,
Time away from everyday
Accounting, duties in columns
Adding up to wins, too many
Losses, the reminder of young
Pilots who flew away into giddy air,
Destined never to return home,
Dad used to tell his children,
Soldiers had to gulp shots to go on
A hero’s mission, my father cast out
A line again and again, there was a
Particular evening the man begged God,
Nature, the thin air, and all elements
He would never know by name to
Restore his very self to firm blue
Earth, his daughter, I bowed my
Head into one long moment of
Silence, the boat tossing even as
My father threw wounded fish back,
One after the other, as waves came
Up to reclaim bluegill and catfish
Father taught one after another,
All his children to pray for peace.