Sunday, February 3, 2008

Grandma's Good War

I was a child during World War Two
burdened with adult tasks to do,
in backyard plots planted row after row of garden seed,
cleared away clump after clump of coco weed,
collected scrap iron by the wagonload
and stacks of newspaper, crinkled and old,
the iron to be melted for weapons of war,
the paper recycled and sent afar,
bought war stamps and war bonds from Uncle Sam,
savored lunches of Vienna sausage, tins of Spam,
complained about rations of chocolate kisses and coca cola,
played thick, black records on an ancient Victrola.
sang “Off We Go” and war songs galore,
in air raid drills, lay stiffly on oily wood floors,
loved to say aloud “Tojo, Hitler, and Mussolini,
Okinawa, Guadalcanal, and Iwo Jima.”
On V-J day, celebrated war’s end in a dancing crowd,
ignoring the shadow of a mushroom-shaped cloud,
was proud to be a patriot who loved the victorious USA,
remembering WWII as the period of a better day,
at armistice, believed all wars would cease …
and the world would bask in the sun of peace.

by Diane Moore
Title poem of my latest chapbook: Grandma's Good War, A Verse Retrospective of the Forties
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