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Below is the poem entitled PALERMO, SICILY, 1943 which was written by poet Nola Perez. Please feel free to comment on this poem. However, please remember, PoetrySoup is a place of encouragement and growth.

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                             for George
"You always said you had little invisible friends,"
He wrote in a Christmas card one year, and Yes,
funny he would remember that.  I called them Shovel,
Hoe, and BicaBacaBoca, all of indeterminate gender,
like Arial in "A Midsummer Night's Dream," beautiful
like that, and mysterious.  Like the Bard, I now
consign them to the page.  Reborn again.

My Navy hero, he sent us letters in brown V-
Mail folders, wartime paper and postage efficient, 
and in one for our pianist stepmom, the lyrics
and  music to "Lili Marlene."  As for pin-ups,
he never owned up to Betty Grable's fabled legs,
her teasing over-the-shoulder glance, aimed toward 
GI's everywhere, though there was the obligatory
tattoo he could never erase after sailor days, bluing 
like Popeye's down the inside of his right arm.

Pacific time brought reward, some misfortune:
a bout with tuberculosis in Bizarte, Tunisia: 
a year of recovery in a Naval hospital at home, 
painting by the numbers, waiting out the time.  
But, there was a hero's commendation from his 
commanding officer for "aid in evacuation 
of the wounded, and bringing the vessel into
port after torpedoing."

The ship, LST-3, earned two battle stars 
for World War II service.  Decommissioned 
and struck from the Naval Register, it was sold
for scrapping, 10 September, 1947 - the year 
I graduated from high school. 

He was not sold for scrap metal, nor sustained 
any.  He came home to his sweetheart, and his kid 
sister -- you know the one.  That's her in a middle 
row of the Ritz movie house, the one crying 
while "Anchors Aweigh" plays after the War Bonds 
trailer to the image of a warship, plunging 
valiantly on a faraway sea

Copyright © Nola Perez

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  1. Date: 5/16/2013 2:38:00 PM
    Hi stranger! I remember you! :) What a tremendous trip into the past! You had me hooked!