If I could talk with you again
I’d ask you about Okinawa,
Where you painted with local artists
And delighted in their customs,
Laughing with the children,
While disgusted by the horrid dregs of war.
Now as I look at you
Standing tall and towering,
The light beaming angel wing above your back,
Graces the image
As if to say, “this is one who cares,”
A medical doctor,
Cataloging, taking notes, always observing,
You befriended many, tending to their wounds and words.
Journal prompt: Are you a veteran or do you have family members in the service? Write about how war and military conflict has affected your life.
Discussion: I have some stories of my father’s service years on Okinawa. He was a medical doctor specializing in mental health. As an artist, he developed close friendships with Okinawan painters and saved the artwork they did together. I still have those paintings on my wall. Through the artwork and photography that Dad did while in the Army, I learned to appreciate his deeply humanitarian nature. The troops returned home by ship across the Pacific and on into San Francisco. Dad talked about a rainbow appearing as they approached the Golden Gate Bridge. “I had never seen such a beautiful sight, ” he said. “We just wanted to get home to our wives and families.”
Copyright © 2014 by Susan E Rowland