My father was drafted A year before the second world war I have a photo of him In rumpled fatigues Holding a fish he caught Somewhere in New York Smiling, proud, relaxing With his khaki buddies Who would die From Anzio to the Rhine
He taught me this About civics You pay taxes Obey the law Serve in time of war And vote
The migraines followed after the war The drinking The fights
The years have passed And this is election day I will vote
As I run the gantlet of electioneers Outside the voting poll I think of my father Buried by an artillery barrage Saved by a buddy How he served Suffered Survived And died in a veterans hospital
I know the candidates About as much As the buddy Who saved my father But I will vote today I will vote for my dad
David Kutcher retired from the Department of Veterans Affairs in 2005. A 1998 graduate of the University of Pittsburgh English Writing Program, with a concentration in poetry, he lives in Brighton Heights.