Poets Walk: "young I was"

Poets Walk: "young I was"

Location on Poets Walk Map: 84


´╗┐Amputees by Beatrice O'Brien


How young I was

that day in 1943

when Lt. Commander Blake

pinned brass ensign bars

onto my white starched

uniform in Norfolk, Virginia.


The ward, at the end

of the long hall...

my first assignment

as Navy Nurse.

How your the boys were

that day in 1943.


Ted, Royal Navy Air Patrol

shot down as he flew

across the channel

in the darkness of

a bitter winter night.

Lower limbs gone.


Jack, U.S. Navy gunner

caught in cross-fire

between a German destroyer

an American battleship

in the North Atlantic.

Minus one arm, one leg.


Clifford, Engineer

aboard an aircraft carrier

hit by flying debris

smack in the face

his right hand also missing.

He could not smile in welcome.


Charlie, Communications Offier

after landing in the Pacific

on a spit of sand

covered with mines

he tripped and fell, lost a foot

glad to be alive.


How old I was

a few months later as

we struggled togheter

learning to walk

to use hooks for hands

to smile our crooked smiles.