A Foxhole Conversation

Scene: September 1944, somewhere in eastern Netherlands. Two American soldiers dig in their positions in preparation for Operation Market Garden, a bold effort to push into German territory just three months after the Normandy invasion.  Although the bitter and costly campaign failed in its goal to decisively acquire access to the Rhine River, the battle’s fierceness and resulting allied occupation and control of the Arnhem bridge damaged Germany’s spirit. Eight months later the war in Europe was over. During a quiet interval Frank and Joe engaged in “a foxhole conversation.”

“These hills are kind’ rough Frank. They seem to drop that artillery right down your neck—”

“Aw, we got it easy. I heard the jokers in Company ‘C’ are really having a rough time—watch it Joe…shelling again.”

“Yeh, we got it easy—just like riding a log down Niagara Falls. Say, how about that picture of that doll of yours? Where did ya’ ever hook up with a trick like that” She your steady?”

“More than that me lad. Keep yer head down, and I’ll give ya the story of Audrey G.–the sweetest little girl in all of Brooklyn. I first got a gander when some of the guys and I went to this local dance. We were just out for laughs, when I spotted her dancing with another gal. And mmm….she was some looker. You know Joe, the kind you dream about…wavy red hair, with sparkling green eyes. A honey of a figure, with slim legs. You know the kind, Joe.”

“Yeah—yeah, I know. But go ahead…”

“Well nothin’ happened. It seemed it’d be the last that I would see of her. Finally got a hold of her number, called a couple of times. She always had a negative answer.”

“Yeah, who wouldn’t with all she had.”

“I get ya Frank. Well I could never figure girls. Funny, I’m in the A&P one day, and there she was, wandering around, lookin’ like a million—”

“I says ‘Hello young lady—care for a place in line?

Why thank you young man, I appreciate it.”

“’You’re awfully elusive. I called you a million times. You’re not always busy, are you Audrey?’ A warm smile of acceptance came over her, and with the same softness in her voice, she replied, ‘No, not always. I’m free Saturday night.‘”

“Well by golly, this is what I wanted.”

“And it must’ worked out ok, huh?”

“Better ‘n that. I took her dancing down at the Savoy on the river. She danced like an angel…would kind’ float. It gave me a chance to go cheek to cheek and warm her back with soft fingers, like playing a flute. I was hooked. We took a leisurely walk home; it was a moonlit night. We talked and laughed and talked some more. The night just went by like the snap of ya’ fingers! She was real and lovely, Joe. We sat ourselves on the front porch swing, and I started off with ‘It’s kind’ a swell night to remember.’ And her reply was to slam her lips to mine like she really wanted more.”

“Well….”

“Well, none of your business. I felt weak all over, just like going a few rounds, while a strange sensation ran through my spine and made my head feel light and numb.”

“’Good night, Frank, I really must be going.‘ And it was like being cut off from seeing any of these French skirts.”

“Whew! She must be something else, and I guess you got to see her more.”

“Damn right. After a night like that, you couldn’t keep me away. Had a couple more dates and cut out all the competition. That’s all.”

“Really?”

“Well no. One early evening we went canoeing and she sensed it.”

Going away Frank?

“Yeh, honey, I got to.”

I know and I feared this moment.”

“She was in my arms tight against me, and I could feel her heart pounding as she burst into tears and clung to me. It was as if it was the last time she would ever see me.”

Oh Frank darling, don’t ever let this night end. I want you so…

“Well, my man, that’s about it.”

“What ya mean?”

“I mean that’s it buster. Cover up and hand me a smoke.”


An enemy sniper estimated the range at 1200 meters, and as he squeezed the trigger, Frank coincidentally bent over to pick up his lighter that had just dropped to the bottom of their foxhole. As far as we know, Audrey has the one—and only one—not gold or diamond— but 100% pure lead wedding ring, made from a German assassin’s 350 mm Special Ops bullet.


Bruce Zimmerman was born and raised in New York City during the depression years. After graduating from the University of Rhode Island, he served in the Korean War. In 1957 he and his family moved to Tampa, where he started his own construction company that remains in existence. Bruce began taking OLLI writing classes with “Writing your Life Story” and is a current member of the Imaginative Writing “crew.”



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4 Replies to “A Foxhole Conversation”

  1. A wonderful story that personalizes the context of wartime experiences…..we are privileged to eavesdrop on your characters…it’s as if we are right there, and Audrey herself is a stand-out.
    Bruce…This delicious story is infused with your ability to tell a story in your inimitable voice, leaving us both satisfied with the ending yet wanting more…your humour lightens and enlivens the tale.
    And the illustrations pair with and amplify the story, taking us to new dimensions!

  2. Yes to how Marilyn described your grand tale of love and war. Your stories always bring a smile to my face and warm my heart.

  3. I think we’ll see more of your “spot on” dialogue. Seems like you’ve found another voice. Keep it up!.

  4. Bruce,
    Thanks for the wonderful World War Two story about love and war.
    My parents’ story was very similar. They both met during the London Blitz. My dad was serving in the U. S. Army, while my mom was in the ATS (Auxiliary Territorial Service) working in the War Office.
    After briefly dating, they got engaged at the Rose and Crown Pub. A few days later, my dad went off to D-Day. At War’s end, he returned, and married my mom in a small English Church.

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