I hate the beach

http://hellopoetry.com/poem/252839/i-hate-the-beach-a-recollection-of-war/

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20 thoughts on “I hate the beach

  1. A fellow blogger sent me here to read that poem…

    I hate the beach …a recollection of war
    I hate the beach
    I’m eighty six and I hate the beach
    Hate the sand, not a fan of the surf
    Face it, I hate the beach
    Last time I went there
    I had just turned 18 years old
    June sixth, Nineteen Hundred Forty Four
    God, I hate the beach
    I was in the 5th Regiment
    Régiment de Maisonneuve
    and I’ve never been to a beach since
    I’m from Verdun, Quebec, Canada
    Not many beaches around there
    Thank the lord for that I say
    We’d been training for six months
    Operation Overlord it was called
    We were coming in on troop carriers
    It was to be a beach head landing
    I’d never seen a beach before
    At least not for real
    Never want to see another
    We arrived early June 6, 1944
    I think I said that already
    You must forgive me,
    I’m 86 years old and I hate the beach
    fourteen thousand Canadian Troops
    Bursting out of armoured troop ships
    Like, the young, virile, brahma bulls we were
    Coming in, all I could hear was the waves
    I was in front, well…close to the front
    I remember, there were no birds
    who ever heard of that?
    A beach with no birds
    At least not at this beach
    I could smell the salt in the air
    And I knew I could hear the surf
    And my heart, I could damn well hear that
    But, no birds, I couldn’t hear the birds
    Gunfire, nope…cannons and mortars
    But birds and guns, not a sound
    Weird huh?
    I remember running forward
    Always forward, past blocks
    Wood barricades and barbed wire
    And bodies, lots of bodies
    I knew that I knew some of them
    I just didn’t have time to stop
    And say goodbye,
    I just ran
    Emptied my weapon at least once
    I only know this, because it was empty
    when I hit the beach
    God, I hate the beach
    You know in the movies
    or in those flowery books
    where they talk about someone being shot
    and how “there was a bloom or
    they’re chest flowered red where they were hit”
    I never saw that, never looked back
    Just ran forward, saw the “bloom” in their backs
    Don’t like red, or flowers or the beach
    I don’t remember much after that
    Could still hear my heart
    That’s a good thing, I guess
    I got tore up good with the wire
    but I never got shot
    Never, “bloomed” for anyone
    A few of my buddies were lost
    I toast them every year
    Never at the beach though
    I hate the beach
    Wife and kids used to go
    I never did, never will
    I remember the 50th anniversary though
    Wife and kids went back
    Not me,
    Went into Montreal to see a ball game
    Montreal Expos 10, Houston Astros 5
    I remember Will Cordero hitting a homer
    It was the sixth inning, I toasted the hit
    I thought about that day 50 years before
    And went back to watching the game
    I hate the beach
    My name is Gilles Roquefort
    I’m eight six years old
    And I can still feel the sand and taste the salt
    On a bad day.

    I can relate to this since I have been writing about veterans and WWII since 2009.
    I would very much like to post this poem and give full credits to whoever wrote it.

    Is Gilles Rochefort still alive?

    As a footnote to this, my wife’s uncle was wounded on D-Day.

    Liked by 2 people

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