Jon Kelly Yenser

The summer after fourth grade
every other Saturday his teacher
picked him up in her spanking Bel Air
most often for matinees at the Orpheum,
but now and then to her home
for canasta, a game she taught him
at her kitchen table.
    He has forgotten
how to meld or what makes a success
red or black, but he remembers
rooting for Rommel’s Panzers to run out
of gas in the desert; for Mickey Rooney
to escape a ditch near Toko-Ri;
for a diminishing platoon of Marines
to finish slogging across Guadalcanal.     
In every skirmish she took his hand.
In the end they won every war.

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