Saturday Poem / CIVICS

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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
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.


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