Tag Archive: Iwo Jima


Sulfur Island

For my Dad, 5th Marines, Spearhead Division, Iwo Jima,
who lived through events that I cannot even fathom.

My dad said
just before landing
they handed out shots of
pure grain alcohol 180 proof
courage at 9 knots moving in
Higgins boats toward the island
when the bow ramp dropped the Marines in front
went face-down quickly into the ocean while the others
ran by to stake positions on the red volcanic sand surrounding the prize
Mount Suribachi

© Chagall 2016

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Not many left who remember
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Semper Fi, 5th Marines Spearhead Division
Iwo Jima

Chagall 2016

5th Division, Spearhead

My Dad called everyone Cap’
since his days as a grunt Marine.

He never spoke of Iwo but I knew
it disturbed him deeply, men from both sides
deep in red volcanic sand strewn about Mount Suribachi.

They passed around pure grain alcohol
on the landing crafts, some hit the beach
in a daze.

The Oldest Gyrine, they called him,
he enlisted when nearly 30, came home
to work in a bronze foundry, flamethrower hot,
my Dad the grunt Marine.

Chagall 2015 – Semper Fidelis

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