Poem 17, June 17  

Chester Johnson, Poem Nine    

I remember the first time
I saw a kamikaze
hit one of ours.  

I thought:
how senseless a thing             
for a pilot to do.

I didn’t have long            
to think though…            
three came for the Iowa.              

I can’t take credit for it,            
but I could be thankful            
our gunners knocked out              

two Jills and a Judy            
on the way to sink us
that November day.              

Since you ask,            
a Jill was a Jap            
carrier dive bomber.              

A Judy was a Jap            
torpedo bomber            
we’d meet them again               

in the skies over Okinawa.