In War (from "After D-Day")
is pleased to present the first five parts of Judith Barrington's
poem After D-Day.
Click for numbers: One,
...unless we can relate it to ourselves personally,
history will always be more or less of an abstraction,
and its content the clash of impersonal forces and ideas.
- Czeslaw Milosz
October, the little joining that is my conception
happens-I don't know how or where or why-
like most of us I make my own assumptions-
happen it does and the timing will signify
that I gestate alongside invasion plans.
Code names like ROUNDUP and TRIDENT multiply
OVERLORD takes over. The jargon jams
as boffins try hard to fool the enemy nations
but often confuse both spies and partisans.
first of May is set for the embarkation
of allied troops to France. The plan is streamlined-
a gleam in many men's eyes, this expedition
lust for, especially when they're reminded
of losses suffered at Dunkirk and then at Pearl
Harbor. Though many declare the scheme is hairbrained
gestate-I in the womb and the great plan unfurling
to show not the millions we know it will kill
but a glamorous army, strutting like a showgirl
the crushing embrace of the murder mill.
The weather, supplies, transportation-all are snarled
and D-Day slips back to the fifth of June. Meanwhile
budding fingers and toes uncurl
preparing for birth; my mother is clenched with the tension
and nothing is quiet, not even in my small world.
2006 by Judith Barrington