"You want the truth, and I will give it to you.
My mother says that Odysseus is my father.
I don't know this myself. No one witnesses
His own begetting. If I had my way, I'd be the son
Of a man fortunate enough to grow old at home.
But its the man with the most dismal fate of all
They say I was born from--since you want to know."
-Telemachus, Book 1
The North Atlantic
The "happy time" is long past, and the great
Convoy steams eastward at nine knots to fill
Bellies of bombers and of boys whose fate
Will be to seek out other boys to kill.
Or be killed. Twenty-six, my father stands
They dogwatch, and he smokes and looks to sea,
Having this evening folded many hands
And held out for the right card patiently,
Raking a future in with bills and chips.
A flash, a muffled crack, and not much more,
And where, a moment since, one of our ships
Has been, more depths of darkness than before,
And, far behind, a home, a son, a wife,
And, waiting with them to be lived, a life.