Poetry,  Special Issue

Valor Concealed by Jason O’Toole

Finally, Paris.
Way of Utah Beach,
Battle of the Bulge,

“Now Entering Germany
Courtesy of the Super Sixth”

Grandpa as a young tourist.
First trip abroad,
stops along The River Seine.
Garand over shoulder slung. 
Handsome in his tanker jacket;
kept him from freezing in Ardennes.

Smiling broadly
under M1 helmet,
because that’s what one did!

In those days,
that’s what one did
when someone took your picture.

              This picture
hidden for the rest 
              of his life
with Stars & Stripes clippings,
Bronze Star we never knew about,
Christmas greetings from G.S Patton, Jr.
(who had full confidence in
his courage, devotion to duty,
& skill in battle).

& war trophy postcards of 
aquiline nosed Stormtroopers
— couldn’t whip this New York boy!

All hidden
until now,
under Vermont maple cutting board
& hat recently come back
in style.

Cpl. Vincent Lenz. US Army.


Jason O’Toole is a member of the North Andover (MA) Poet Laureate Committee, and a founder and judge of the Anne Bradstreet Poetry Contest. He published two volumes of poetry, a chapbook, and has been featured in numerous publications including the 2020 Rhysling Anthology and a new book of pandemic poems, Poets with Masks On (Finishing Line Press). He was the vocalist for the NY Hardcore Punk band Life’s Blood and continues to make commercially unviable music. 


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