Here’s the secret about war, she thinks, it’s such a bore,
government shacks, feckless roaches,
harsh shampoo if you can get it,
staticky radio tuned to cooking tips,
and worst of all—the community clotheslines
with your sheets and dresses next
to a stranger’s underwear
and even worse—
abandoned shirts and pants
hanging lifeless in the rain,
until the chaplain’s wife sends
them home with a flag and a note.

But once, his band played the islands,
and oh dear God,
we danced to String of Pearls.

For the World War II veterans still alive.

Selected byMaria Mazzenga
Image credit:Tim Evanson

Trish Saunders lives in Seattle. Her poetry and short fiction are published or forthcoming in American Journal of Poetry, Off The Coast Literary Magazine, Pacifica Poetry Review, Silver Birch Press, Eunoia Review, and others. Right Hand Pointing published her chapbook, "Last Note" in 2019.