Inheritance

Maybe he’s driving the Jeep through the Vietnamese jungle

strewn with tents and men trying to dry their socks

and men trying to get the cigarette to light and

men trying to tune in the radio signal and

men trying to find the words to

write a letter and trying most

of all not to die in that

Green

country, or

maybe he’s just

holding the clipboard for the

general or colonel under the relentless

White

sun

pushing through

the saturated haze far from

Racine County, far from County Galway, but

either way the story is that my dad would get so sunburned

in the middle of the sixties before the summer of Love, with his

Irish

freckled skin

that they put him

in a Jeep and told him to

look busy, so anyway that’s how

being Irish didn’t just save civilization like

Cahill wrote, but how it also maybe saved PFC Madden

from sniper fire or strafing rounds so he could leave behind

the countryside peeled of vegetation like sunburned skin from Agent

Orange

and meet

my fair-skinned

Norwegian mom over W2

forms at Walker Manufacturing,

holding ajar the door in the universe, just enough

for my sister and me, and now his fair and sun-screened grandchildren, to

Follow.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s