On a rainy Sunday

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Poetry  |  House: Booksie Classic
Truth versus experience

Submitted: June 15, 2008

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Submitted: June 15, 2008

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This vista in my memoried youth recalled

on a rainy Sunday morning in my aged day.

White gleaming forest,

these stunted trees row and rank stand,

seeming as alabaster in the noon sun,

stretching endless beyond the eyes’ compass.

Gravel avenues, pencil pines and spreading yews

the rolling grounds adorn for those who

can never go home again.

And names carved on granite walls

in these pleasant Italian hills exchanged

their lives for my current freedoms.

Cross and Magen David mark their place,

these companions of my father’s war.

This encounter in my innocent youth recalled

on a rainy Sunday morning in my aged day.

Chalk white the villas

in Porto Fino in the noon sun,

heat radiating from walls

as we explore the village.

At street level two sawhorses erected on a porch,

stand as a poor man’s catafalque adorned,

a cheap coffin leaking putrefaction.

Fishing village smells overcome,

no breath of salty breeze refreshing

this unavoidable end of man,

no fragrant boughs

of Mediterranean pine masking

this rotting corruption

awaiting burial this July day.

Yet, this truth recalled in my aged day,

relearned at a rainy Sunday matins:

“And death shall have no dominion.”

So sing me a Te Deum on that day,

or recite the Kaddish in my hearing,

equally will I praise God

for His life eternal,

for no memoried vista

or stark encounter

can force back again

his rolled stone.

Notes: Line 3-14, WW2 US military cemetery, northern Italy.

Line 17-30, Porto Fino, Italian Riviera.


© Copyright 2017 James Gagiikwe. All rights reserved.

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