Hose, hats, heels click along cement sidewalks––
The city echoes with the punctuated remark.
Or is that the harmony of guns cocked in war?
Germany desires to settle its score.
Keys clack rapidly on the typewriter––
Or is that the racket of machine gun fire?
At five o’clock the keys slow to a stop as she goes,
But in the distance, the pop of bullets still echoes.
Starched sheets snap and billow in the breeze.
Far away, a white flag whips in the wind of a wasteland.
Perhaps a moment of relief
But oh, what a sorry excuse for peace.
In the slosh of her hands in soapy water
She hears the splash of booted feet
Breaking across waves to meet
A shore of certain slaughter.
Dishes clatter on the counter
The radio’s static perforates the silent living room.
“Let no man or woman talk of America sending its armies to European fields.”
A box of promises? No, box of lies.
Now let no woman think otherwise!
Let her wear red. Let her not yield.
Let her work–– never still.
By warm orange light, the sewing machine whirs,
Foot and pedal pulsing to last clothes a little further––
Or is that the purr of plane propellers through the cold, black night
So as not to alert the enemy of its flight?
A trumpet whines in an underground club
Yet she perceives, within its faint refrain,
Could it be a wail of someone’s love,
lost again to the front door’s claim?
Listen, what does it mean?
Though they have met in place and time,
Though witnesses attest to the crime,
Though they fought on the same side––
Home and war will never meet in my mind.