Wednesday, December 7, 2011


Yes, I remember. Charley Merserve and I had come to his house for a weekend off from Fryeburg Academy. Here is a poem published years ago in Galley Sail Review — with a few current changes.

Jackson, New Hampshire: Sun., Dec. 7, 1941

Visiting at Charley's house (hymns from
the radio on the nightstand between
twin beds) as we discussed the diminished
possibility of still being give breakfast
when down the air waves, but not from
Marathon, the runner came and in that
white-painted, sun-drenched room above
a yard brilliant with the fresh snow 
we'd taken a weekend from school
to explore we both were suddenly 
Athenian (or was it Spartans) and
quicker than thought, as our fathers
had taught us, we said we'd come.

We didn't wait for Pheidippides, the
runner to come, to tell us we'd won.
And here, after 70 years, we wait again
for the runner's spirit to appear and
tell us, if we've not won, we're done.

1 comment:

  1. I find this one unusually confusing. Are the boys pre-conditioned to automatically believe that the USA has actually just won something? Or does the narrator's knowing that we will win this war that has just begun leak backwards into the memory of that night?