Veterans of Foreign Wars
Let's not forget the General Shuffling out in his gray slippers To feed the pigeons in Logan Square. He wore a battered White Sox cap And a heavy woolen scarf tossed Over his shoulder, even in summer. I remember how he muttered to himself And coughed into his newspaper And complained about his gout To the other Latvian exiles, The physicist who lived on Gogol Street In Riga, my grandfather's hometown, The auxiliary policeman from Daugavpils, And the chemical engineer, Who always gave me hard candy, Though grandfather spit And grandmother hurried me away When she saw them coming.
Copyright © 2012 by Edward Hirsch. Used with permission of the author.