The Foundry, 1960
for Bruce Weigl,
in memory of Albert Weigl 1923-2018
& Lawrence Lovasik 1920-1995
We run through slag and ash –
Play soldier, good at dying,
Then walk in stiff green water,
Near funnels of smoke
Where whistles ring for home
And another stack of fives and quarters.
We watch the burial of fish;
Almost see the virus in the river
That bent our friends’ legs
As barges crush toward
The foundry where our fathers were burning;
Thought of how it would be to stand
With them in the heat,
Their skin probably crackling in the silver suits;
Wondered how it would be
To walk by the odd green water,
To laugh our way to the bar and feel
Good about the extra sawbuck we had
To throw back a couple of shots and beers,
Buy the biggest turkey for Thanksgiving –
And we still wonder what it would be like
To have that life they showed us.
Even through the furious, green war
They stood with us in the heat
As they do now in cold wind,
To bend down and kiss us,
To let us know how to live.
Stefan Lovasik is a U.S. Army combat veteran. During the American war in Viet Nam, he served with Special Operations Forces. His poetry has appeared or is forthcoming in the American Literary Review, Consequence, Hiram Poetry Review, McNeese Review, and Pedestal Magazine, among others. He has published two collections: Persona and Shadow (FlutterPress, 2015) and Absolution (Main Street Rag Publishing Co., 2018).