They had no where to come from.
All their places now, erased.
Tank track, boot beaten,
crushed country roads and boulevards.
Smoking hulks of cities,
bombed to brick bulks.
Small villages where life lived well
until death found the farms
and harvested them with flames.
Now the world waited for some hope of
War lessness would be enough.
A momentary quietus,
a few years.
God, please! A decade?
A brief cease to take
gulps of unfiltered flesh flaked,
black smoked, brick dusted, cordite
Just enough time to revive
and then to fire up the mechanisms,
get them grinding again!
Some fled from no where to there,
to that park on the shore of
Long Island Sound,
on the north east corner of the Bronx,
where, as only in the New York City
I knew at 6, 7, 8, 9, 10,
where this really could happen.
Poles, Estonians, Latvians,
Greeks, Slavs, Russians,
some surviving Vets:
a German-American Marine,
home from Iwo Jima;
a Brooklyn Irishman,
with a Purple Heart
and a Bronze Star from Bastogne;
my atheist Jewish Father,
a sonar man from North Atlantic
Not all immigrants, but all escapees,
the tattooed numbers not on their wrists,
rather scorching their hearts,
came on weekends to drink, play chess
rather battle with each other
on a hard packed dirt volley ball court
surrounded by this wooded park called
They gathered there,
gravitated by their heavy hope to,
rather build new memory
to fill the gaping hole
blown open by a war begun
a decade before my 1948 birth,
to create new life worth remembering
after a holocaust of death,
to spike the second hit set,
instead of bombs,
into this American earth,