There is one front and one battle where everyone in the United States—every man, woman, and child—is in action and will be privileged to remain in action throughout this war. That front is right here at home, in our daily lives and in our daily tasks. Here at home everyone will have the privilege of making whatever self-denial is necessary, not only to supply our fighting men, but to keep the economic structure of our country fortified and secure during the war and after the war.

President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s radio broadcast to the nation, April 28, 1942

Sunday, May 1, 2011

At the Picture Show



Every Thursday night
since the war began
my mother and I go
to the picture show.
She claims it’s because
she needs to escape
from the kitchen.
She doesn’t fool me.
It’s the Movietone news
she goes to see.
Newsreels show the war
as it is—dirty and deadly.
As long as Lowell Thomas is able
to narrate the horrors every week,
Mother will be there to watch.
She wants to be a witness.
Me, I’d rather be a slave
in the kitchen.

© Diane Mayr, all rights reserved. Photo courtesy Library of Congress.


Andrea Murphy said...

I don't think there's ever going to be as broad a base of movie fans as there was/is in the folks from the 30s and 40s. I just love how your poems reflect so much of what I heard from my mother and father about their experiences during the war years. Thanks, Diane!

Marion Eldridge said...

I love how they say so much with so little.

Diane Mayr said...

Thank you, ladies!