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Saturday, June 21, 2014


by M.F. Nagel

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My Father was a War Hero
In his own way;

He came home.
Never spoke of War;
But, I could see it in his face
In the way he smoked a cigarette
And stared across the Pacific;
On stormy days.

I heard they dragged him drafted from the docks
Where he welded blasted battleships
In antiquated scuba gear because he never feared the sea.

My Father was a War Hero
In his own way.

He returned
Dropped on Main Street.
Ordered to guard
Mr. and Mrs. Hiroshima; spies
The old Nippon couple
My father knew as a child.
All the bad fishing seasons
Giving credit
To broken fisherman.
Never took a penny
He stood
At attention next to the door of Mr. and Mrs. Hiroshima
They were gone.
Then he turned and knocked
Shoved his rifle thru the door
Guard yourselves--
He said and walked away;
My Uncle Eddy told me
He saw
His brother
Rip the jacket from his chest and throw it in the bay.

My father was a War Hero
In his own way.

M.F. Nagel was born in anchorage Alaska. Her Athabaskan and Eyak heritage gave her a love of poetry. M.F. now lives and writes near the banks of the Matanuska river in the Palmer Butte, Alaska, where the moose, wild dog-roses and salmonberries provide unending joy and inspiration.