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I met him when I was twelve.
The troops were just back from Europe.
Some of them were still wearing their
uniforms and refighting the action
every Saturday afternoon
on the screen at the Roxy.

Picture a sunny spring day:
for some unknown reason
I had an urge to see Carol,
a slender blonde of similar age
about whom I had been dreaming
in a somewhat personal way.

With more guts than brains,
and no plan of operations,
I asked her out for a walk.
Found myself walking beside
this goddess, babbling
gaily about nothing at all,

and was almost sealing my doom
as a total idiot
when our way on the
railed wooden sidewalk was barred
by a tall teenager wearing sunglasses
dungarees, a leather jacket,
his gloved fists holding either an air rifle
or a twenty-two pointed at us.

This was my chance
to take a bullet for her
and sear my way into
her dreams forever.

Instead, I held her hand and
keeping her behind me,
stepped around him
and continued on.

I still see the sunglasses
nights when I have nothing
better to do
when I need a little jolt
my brain projects my reflection
onto those black surfaces
in front of the pale leering face.

Maybe he got the war he needed
went to Korea a few years later:
got to smoke the cigarettes
haul the ammo, hurry up and wait
with the rest of his platoon
I sure hope so

All that intensity was wasted in our little town.

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About riverwriter

Poet, playwright, duplicate bridge player, website designer, cottager, husband, father, grandfather, former athlete, carpenter, computer helper for my friends, theatre designer, backstage polymath, retired teacher of highschool English, drama, art, a baritone singer in a barbershop quartet, who knows what else? wordcurrents is on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/wordcurrents/ Doug also has a Facebook page, "Incognitio", related to his novels.
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