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Atomic Ale

He never had to go to Hiroshima proper.
Ride from the airbase was six miles as the crow flies
And all the supplies he was sent to procure could be
Found on the outskirts, well beyond the blast radius
He was told at the time and all sincerely believed. No cause of action possibly could lie now, all these
Years later, he tells himself at his local pub Shelling out a couple of bucksHighway Robbery!
– So his great grandson can lift back a pint and chug his
First legal cold one. Suddenly, the old veteran’s eyes
Are filled with the amber glow of recollecting why His buddies always wanted in on the supply run To just outside the blast radius: the brewery
That withstood the concussive force of an atom bomb
To brew another day. That had to have been the best beer
He had ever tasted. Irradiated? Maybe.
Maybe. And what if it was radioactive?
What If it was what had watered the seed of Death in him?
The Seed was there already, and the things he’d survived….
The things he had survived. The number of times Death had
Skirted him by and all the life he had lived since then….All the Life.
Who would sue for that after all this time? Who? He decides to shell out more than a couple bucks On himself, asks the barkeep, “What’s your best brew?
Money is no object.”
His namesake overhears, overjoyed,
Sees the bartender deliver a tawny-full stein.
“It’s beautiful,” great-grandpa says, “What do you call it?”
The brew master, standing at the register, answers:
“Atomic Ale. It’s got quite a bitter kick to it.” Great-grandpa retorts, “I bet it does.”
Great-grandson lifts his own in salute.
“To Life,” he says. “To Life,” the old vet replies, “It’s enough.” Great-grandson nods in agreement and smiles.

About this poem

In honor of the late Deacon Decoss and based, loosely, on a personal experience he related

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Written on March 28, 2014

Submitted by mikeymautner on July 12, 2022

Modified on March 05, 2023

1:42 min read

Quick analysis:

Closest metre Iambic octameter
Characters 1,789
Words 342
Stanzas 1
Stanza Lengths 26

Michael E. Mautner

Michael Mautner is a retired prosecutor and active Anglican clergyman in Northern California. more…

All Michael E. Mautner poems | Michael E. Mautner Books

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