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

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

My Musical War



Uncle Mick has come home
--badly scarred, but whole.
He and Mom are downstairs
right now, jitterbugging to
"I’m Beginning to See the Light."

They’ve played it at least
six times and don’t show signs
of stopping. That song will be
the one I’ll remember when I
think about the war ending.

When I look back I hear
"We’ll Meet Again"--a tune
that in my ignorance I thought
more hopeful than sad.

Then there’s "He Wears a Pair
of Silver Wings" to remind me
of neighborhood boys who
ran off to become flyers.

Sinatra singing "Snootie
Little Cutie" brings back
the handsome Marine who
nearly swept me away!

Ooh, listen! They’re playing
"Ac-Cent-Tchu-Ate the Positive"...
excuse me while I go downstairs
to listen to another memory.

© Diane Mayr, all rights reserved. Sheet music from author's personal collection.


Linda B said...

I grew up listening to those songs, watching my family dance in the living room, almost forgetting what they'd just survived. Your poem reflects it wonderfully, Diane. Thank you!

Diane Mayr said...

Thanks, Linda, it's nice to know I got it right!

Marion Eldridge said...

I am familiar with some too - from my parents. More poignant now than ever. Beautiful, Diane.