Poem: Kendall Merriam

Destroyer ‘Gray Moon’

Thu, 05/27/2021 - 8:15am

For Jim

Phyllis made an excellent roast beef

something we don’t have often

after polishing the copper kitchen table

I made a batch of buttermilk biscuits

something I hadn’t done in a year

we had seventeen of Fannie Farmer’s best

too many for us

so I said take a half dozen next door

she came back with a bag of fiddleheads

and part of a bottle of vinegar

which Jim thought we would like

Gaye, Jim’s wife, was in a neck brace

from a fall at the Rockport Y

and had a subsequent operation

Jim had worked over 30 years at  B. I. W.

but was unfamiliar

with the three frigates

built for the German Navy

in some sort of exchange program

when work was slow

in American yards

once we were having thick sandwiches and beer

at the Sedgwick House in Bath

the door burst open

and three German naval officers came in


and bellowed “Hello Yankee!”

my stomach turned thinking of the lost

we kept track of the construction

and when the third vessel

The Erwin S. Rommel was scheduled to be launched

my maritime friend, Mike Pine, and I were there

to witness the young man who leap out of the crowd

and shouted, “Rommel Was A Nazi”!

I grabbed a handful of launch programs

which had in them a picture of The Desert Fox in full uniform

Jim started work a few months later

unaware of BIW’s ignominy

I gave him my last booklet


Kendall Merriam, Home, 5/26/2021 10:41

Listening at a distance to “Call the Midwife”.