Poems and Poetry

Remembering a War We Tend to Forget | A Poem by Donal Mahoney

I will never forget him
but I can’t remember his name
it’s been so long ago.
Maybe I never knew it.

But I think of him on days
America celebrates its veterans —
Memorial Day, July 4th,
Veterans Day, D-Day.
The wars are all remembered
but not so much this one.

He was Billy’s big brother
and more than 60 years ago
Billy and the rest of us
were in 8th grade watching
him climb a ladder
and hammer a hoop
on the roof of a garage
so we could play ball
while he went to Korea.

I saw him again when he
came back from Korea.
He was walking in circles
in the family’s backyard
smoking Pall Malls,
one after another, talking
to no one we could see.

We were practicing at
the hoop he nailed up
before he went to Korea.
We were seniors
in high school then
and had to be ready.
We practiced all summer
for the season ahead.

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