On the day World War II ended

I was in the Navy doing garbage duty

in Sampson, NY.


I remember the awful smell of the garbage.


But as I got used to it

and smelled like the garbage I dealt with

it didn’t bother me any more.


I remember friends smelling me

and distancing themselves.


Strange memories swim in my mind

as VETERANS’  DAY  unfolds each year.


My solemnity is mixed

with seriousness and  honest recall

of the aromas that attended me

at war’s end.


So many of my friends

did so much more.

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