In the marbled silence
of the watery memorial
I gazed at the rusted steel
below the calling gulls
and placed my adolescent mind
in the circular frame
of the exposed turret traverse.
I imagined
those worrying minutes
as the Japanese planes
made their surprise
bombing runs
and strafed the decks
that so soon
lifted briefly out of the water
then settled back in
to become
so many men’s
shattered deathbed
under the lagoon.

copyright © 2020 Kenneth P. Gurney


When I was a kid, our family visited Hawaii and the famous tourist places on the islands. I remember visiting the Arizona memorial. By chance (more than plan) I place this poem on the blog this 7 December the anniversary of the attack on Pearl Harbor.