Journalism In Verse

Harold Schultz, MarineCorps

Raise the Flag and Sort the Mail

in Obituaries by

His name was Schultz, a simple man
He fought for Iwo Jima, got wounded
Sent home and forgotten
He sorted mail, day in day out
A single man, a simple man
He didn’t want remembering
How awful for him, the war
6,800 men who died for Iwo Jima
He raised the flag, with star and stripes
He sorted mail, with broken heart
His memories slowly disappearing
Like lost and undelivered mail
His name was Harold, simple man
Who raised the flag and sorted mail
One day at sixty years old he married
A neighbor with whom he shared a porch
They never slept together, he was too old
At dinner once, watching TV, he casually said
“I was the one that raised the flag at Iwo Jima”
No one was listening, except a step-daughter
She blushed: “Gosh Harold, you are a hero!”
But he said: “No, I was a Marine”
Who raised the flag and sorted mail
And he died, when no one was looking
No one was listening, no one was praising
He died alone, without honors, a simple man
Who raised the flag and sorted mail.


Read More:
Man In Iwo Jima Flag Photo Was Misidentified, Marine Corps Says [New York Times]
Iwo Jima: A Retrospective [Military.com]

Valery Oisteanu  is a Soviet-born Romanian-American poet, art critic, essayist, collagist and performance artist, whose style reflects the influence of Dada and Surrealism. Oisteanu is the author of more than a dozen books of poetry, a book of short fiction, and a book of essays. His new upcoming  book “Lighter Than Air” (visual poetry collages) will be published soon by Spuyten Duyvil Press, NYC.

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