Two Slice Gravy, poetry by Ray Whitaker at
Selena Morar

Two Slice Gravy

Two Slice Gravy

written by: Ray Whitaker


Remembering my Grandfather
he used to say
“Put enough gravy in, don’t forget,”

he also loved southern fried steak
tho Grandma didn’t call it that
made with her special-thick secret gravy

there had to be enough on the plate
so’s as to be needing mopping up
enough for two slices of bread to sop up the plate.

I remember my Father just back from the war
remarking that his civvies felt strange
to have on, he was trying to relax the tension

he had lived with for a year and some, like
never minding the danger of flying into Khe Sahn
keeping those Marines alive by resupply

flying in, he’d told me about the siege laid out under him
It had been a clear day flying in, suddenly a wide plume rising ‘way up,
thousands of enemy surrounding the forward base were visible thru the smoke of battle.”

He’d been a command pilot, Officer Corps,
a long career in the Air Force, flying in 3 wars, medals and all,
now he and Mom both

are buried in Arlington National Cemetery,
and a friend of mine just buried both his parents
there, on a fine day in August.

I love the honors given there on that hallowed ground
all is somber until the flag is handed to the eldest son
when is said “With the thanks of a Grateful Nation” brings tears

an Officer of higher rank (than our fathers were) does that
as he turns away, the rifle team does their salute
it is jarring, each report, makes you jump a bit sitting there graveside.

I’d rather have them back to eat some two slice gravy with.

The dinner table has empty seats.

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