May 152012

 by Ron Yazinski


Talk of death was as common as warm milk in my elementary school,

With the Soviets’ constant threatening to drop the bomb

And our scheduled filing into the damp basement to hide;


And the priest preparing us for Confirmation,

During the weeks of the Cuban Missile Crisis,

With the consolation that our family would all die together;


And then, in college, the weekly roll call of the Viet Nam Dead

At the Student Center, with jokers, toking on joints,

Laughing how they just heard their own names;


And then Commencement, when the guys on either side,

Unlucky in the draft lottery,

Saying goodbye before entering the Army on Monday;


We were a generation raised on borrowed time,

Accepting on faith,

How blessed the Christ was to see thirty-three years.