Poem 20, June 20  

Chester Johnson, Poem Twelve

You have to remember that it’s been
74 years now since I went to sea.
My pay grade was E4,
Petty Officer Third Class at the signing.  

When I got my patch,
it was tacked on my sleeve;
the eagle was called a crow.
I was punched half a dozen times,  

hearty punches that bruised my arm.
I was lucky no one
tacked me with that needle.
I was as happy as I could be, however,

for I had achieved
the lowest grade of noncommissioned officer
for my achievements,
and my crow never flew away.