Jan G. Otterstrom F.

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IWO JIMA

I was 4 months old, safe in parents care
when combined U.S. Armed forces began
their first attack on Japanese homeland
volcanic island, Spanish sulphur mines
part of the Ogasawara Archipelago
barely 21 square kilometers of strategic rock
craggy knoll, highest point Mt. Suribachi
volcano´s cone lip, symbolic raising
of the Stars and Strips, years later in 1985
flying high, in business class leather seats
soothing music in the ear, looking down
Singapore to Tokyo, a green square
in Pacific blue, pale shadows, outer reef
Iwo To or Iwo Jima as the press called it
19th of February to March 26, 1945
18,000 Japs died ignominious death
some 26,000 American casualties with
over 6800 dead, first heavily bombarded
to soften defense, after the flag was raised
the north of the island was still untaken
Motoyama Plateau, Amphitheater
through the “meat grinder” fire spitting tanks
volcanic cave bunkers with stubborn vermin
Yanks used flame throwers to burn them out
finally Kuribayashi's stronghold taken by Marines
a landing strip for future B-29 bombing raids
almost 6 months before, September 2, 1945
Japanese surrender in Tokyo Bay, heads bowed
shame accepted on the U.S.S. Missouri deck.




© Jan G. Otterstrom F. November 20, 2014