Omaha – David Calcutt


I walked the length
of Omaha Beach
where the killing took place

there were old men
in baseball caps smiling
in front of the monument

a woman crouching
at the sea’s edge
pressing her hand
into the wet sand

a man who sat cross-
legged on a stone
eyes closed, palms out
in meditation or prayer

as I walked on past
the lines of sea-blackened
wooden piles

sticking up out of the sand

sandpipers skittered
across the beach
and the grey waves
foamed and broke
on the rocks

it was a day of wind
and sunlight
and shadows that flickered
along the sidelines

and up on the terrace café
my dead son
was sitting at a table
eating and drinking
and having a good time

and beyond him
the dark blue line
of the horizon
ran straight and clean
and was empty of ships.

David Calcutt is a playwright, poet and fiction writer. Many of his original plays and
adaptations have been broadcast on BBC radio, and his plays for theatre have been performed in both professional and community settings. Several of his plays for young people are published by Oxford University Press, as are three of his four novels for young people. His poetry appears widely in print and online magazines, and he is the author of four poetry collections.


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