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Clark Simmons

Since I was the oldest of three sisters with a mum, 
As my dad had died when I was at an age young,
I thought I’d join the navy to help out my family, 
But I excluded the black segregation code anomaly. 

In training our instructors gave us our work, hard, 
But you could work up to being the mates, guard, 
Of the officers, an intimate situation, all food made, 
You would know everything after a while, anticipate. 

Because I was black, I could only serve an officer, 
But I was told the job was essential, but felt inferior, 
Even though I knew many men that were jealous of me, 
‘Cos we used to train men in flag control and gunnery. 

We felt like a mobile target as planes bombed often, 
The ship got repaired when it was replenished, ben, 
But one morning after I’d been out, Cinderella Liberty, 
Another black man came down, there was a calamity. 

It was the Pearl Harbour bombing and the ship got hit, 
Torpedoes fell onto us but did not explode, not writ, 
But they went right into the hull and made our ship tip, 
Such that eight minutes later the ship was history, a quip. 

Upon the command abandon ship, I got through a port, 
‘Cos I just knew not to put a life jacket on for passport, 
We got to the walkway outside the captain’s cabin, 
And then swam for Ford Island, our own safety to win. 

I was hit in the head, the shoulder and the leg, 
But was with a corpsman, a nurse, who had the peg, 
Who saw me to Ford Island First Aid Station, his duty, 
Then I went to the submarine base hospital, a casualty. 

My friend Dorie Miller from when I was at school, 
Saved the captain and his officer, he did not fool
With race, when on board the USS West Virginia, 
But only got the Navy Cross because of his colour. 

He should’ve got the Congressional Medal, 
‘Cos that was what you got for that pedal;
He only didn’t get it because he was black,
Which is not fair when I pensively look back. 

Copyright © | Year Posted 2015

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