Poem 16, June 16  

Chester Johnson, Poem Eight    

Say the kids are good.
And Joyce?
I’d like to see her.  

Say you were here
three times
and couldn’t wake me.  

Other people say
they’ve come and knocked
on my storm door.  

I sleep sound in this chair.
I can’t hear good.
I have to turn the tv up loud.  

I’ll tell you what you do.
Next time that happens
there’s a string out there.  

See that bell up there.
It’s from the USS Lexington.
You pull that string and I’ll hear it.  

It brings back the past when it chimes.
My memory is full of youth,
full of shock waves in the sea

when we fired the big guns.
I say we not I or me.
In battle we were one.

Of course
you can take a picture
of it.