for my mom – gone 49 years next week
Who is Wolters
and what did he do
to have a fort named after him
in Mineral Wells
where the sky’s not cloudy all day?
Loading up flatcars
‘cause we’re gonna keep
some Asian domino from fallin’
so Ho don’t get new digs in Sydney
cause it’s better to fight them over there
than in Ojai
Who is Uncle Ho?
First Sergeant says
“Go home son, your momma’s bad”
so I catch the orange Braniff
and rush to see momma
at the Imperial Coney Island Hospital
for the Poor and Destitute
with no view of the Ferris Wheel
‘cause momma ain’t got no insurance
And on the day
Chaucer’s vain cock Chanticleer
is tricked by a fox
“Syn March began thritty dayes and two”
she is gone longer than she was here.
So after three days mourning at Torregrossa’s
with it’s red velvet drapes and grandfather clock
ticking life away
where you could get spaghetti downstairs between viewings
before the health department put a stop
to mixing antipasto and funerals
it is time to go.
Daddy is anointed with Caesar’s falling sickness
so Major Domo says
“You don’t have to go with the flatcars son;
We will save Asian domino without you”
Stay here safe and warm and send a green Army car
with ranking officer all dressed up
to tell the n.o.k.
their hero is coming home
in a flag draped box.
Name his friend to escort his body
present his medals to his family
render all assistance
Do your duty soldier;
The dead wil be counting on you
to bring them home.
And so the flatcars left without me
while I stayed safe and warm in the summer sun
sending out the green Army car
bringing words of death
dashing hopes and dreams
No one ever shot at me
that summer long ago
Some one else went in my place
‘cause momma died on April Fool’s
It would have been easier
to face the bullets.