I Visited the Veteran's Hospital Today, Oh Boy...
The fog sits and lives by the City
Where men with their sketches made
by nursing friends to strangers linger
on the walls and in the memories.
Anonymous lessons of Caesar campaigns
and American victories of elegant tours
in journeys from many armies
are adorned by men with injuries tended.
This is the caverns and hallways
punctuated by building clinic,
hospital, Nursing Home, Ambulatory Center
for Veterans in San Francisco by the Pacific.
Limbs, lives, bodies nurtured with
disparate routine in diversity
of legions in regular staff to
administer the chapel of balm to war injured.
Oh, boy, I saw the men today
and the women when visiting
the line at the Veteran's Hospital, Oh Boy.
I heard the news today, saw the results.
Tender mercies given with discipline,
received with gratitude, politics,
and golden hearts with purple glory
in sketches of lines of color in living faces.
These, Oh, Boy, I read the news today
of American faces mingling comraderies
in wounded attention, ministrations of,
Oh, Boy, the agony was apparent in the quiet.
The fog rolls through the Golden Gate
in the City where the Victorians in their
colored array sit cheek to jowl; the men
talk of Senators and Officers, wait for prosthetics.
Oh, Boy, there is God who is around
the corner, down the hall. I read
the news today in the vastness
and hub bub to display a sketch of tenderness.
Peter Menkin (2000)