The dying German lay squirming in the dust from a belly wound in front of a blackened
French farmhouse as the acrid air was torn by the pop-pop-pop of machine gun fire.
The Air Show and WWII reenactment fun in rural Pennsylvania was open for business.
The Russian guys were haughty and reeducated the crowd
toward comrade Stalin and their “Great Patriotic War.”
The German guys were being left alone.
The Brits, the Scots, and the Americans were being popular, swarmed by “village girls”
wearing nylons with seams up the back. The Canadian was being ignored.
Children scrambled over Nazi Tiger tanks.
Fake barbed wire ringed a fake German mine field.
An ersatz French village lay busted and scorched near an ersatz field hospital
with ersatz wounded.
Mr. Softee flowed, fresh squeezed lemonade got squeezed and popcorn pop-pop-popped.
Ancient air machines lined up.
Under their wings shaded from the sun sat bright-eyed old guys in beach chairs beaming
at the crowd. Their hands were calloused from a million hours poured into a world of
long ago. “How’d these planes get here?” said a woman to her date.
“Guess they put them
together right here,” he said. “No! We flew ‘em in” said a leathery looking guy peeking
out from the cockpit. “These planes are safer than the car that brought you here.”
Suddenly hundreds of rubbernecking visitors were enfolded in a running gun battle
between a squad of Nazis and the American Screamin’ Eagles as Bob Crosby and the
Bobcats crooned nearby.
The SUV blew past my car at 90+
turning the morning air blue
with a string of lies
about my parentage
their middle fingers pumped from windows and sun roof
pissed-off passion spinning into the
hot summer air
kangaroo-courted me guilty
of something real or imagined
their hate jolted me from
my morning music pulled me into their game
murder on my mind
heat rocketed up my back
popped out of my head
poured from my armpits
I saw their baby seat in the back
piled with pink bunnies
I turned back to the Beach Boys
I am black
I am shiny
Got a stinger
On my hiney
Love to soar
Like to hover
When I gotta
I find cover
Is what I bee
Is for the chumps
Feed me stumps
When I’m bored
Or feeling smarty
I can bust up
Biographical Note for Harris Cohen: Born and raised in Philadelphia, and educated at the University of the
Arts with a B.S. in Industrial Design, Cohen worked for thirty years at
Scott Paper Co. and other local companies in the creative field.
Recruited by the NSA after graduating West Philadelphia High in 1956,
he served 27 months in Okinawa Japan monitoring Russian and Chinese code
transmissions at the height of the cold war. Beside his recent work,
“Rat Tales and other Stories,” Cohen has had four of his essays
published by “Enigma” and “The Storyteller”. He writes full time and is a
charter member of the Radnor Writing Group.
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