In the days after the war there was an unspoken expectation that one would never
mention what they were feeling.
There was not a one left standing whose illusions were still in an intact state.
There was no use to talk about it when there were untold million now in the position,
never again to complain.
The toll on innocence itself could not be tallied. The human condition was not yet
diagnosed. This is the world of 1949.
If you were in the war and couldn’t remember any of the reasons that used to
motivate you to live; you would be given a label. Outside of that it was uncommon.
As with most cases of labels being handed out, nobody ever wanted one. This
remains the same today.
The whole town knew O’ Hanlon who came back from France.
He would run up the hill through the briars and the brambles with the broken end
of a telephone held up to his ear. He would say things like “Are youse with me boys?”.
He remained up there in the drenching rain waiting for the call that would put the
universe to rights again. Waiting. It would be coming through any minute. As night
was setting in the neighbors would come up the hill and say, “it’s all right now
Michael, come in son, it’s only us now.”
The war is over Michael, it’s over son. It’s just us now.
It’s only us now.