Skip to main content

May 25, 1941

Katie Park




**Note: I am aware that women did not fight in the army in 1941, but for this story, they did.**

May 25, 1941

Before the swell of victories,

Before the sting of loss.

I would tell my family’s stories,

No matter what the cost.

First of all,

I answered the call,

Leaving my family behind.

Deployed in a place,

That had not a trace,

Of things that I knew of back home.

The first one I met,

I owe a great debt,

For she saved my life, no doubt.

We met by a train,

In the pouring rain,

After I heard her shout:

“Well hello sir, I see you’re off,

Quite the same as me.”

I gave a quick scoff,

Winked at her

Then paid the conductor my fee.

“Well hold on a minute,

I can fight, too!

Better than you might think.

I graduated top of my class,

And I could punch you pink.”

We became fast friends,

After that first encounter.

We had each others backs, you see,

I wouldn’t have survived without her.

Her story ended in the sand and dust,

As many others before,

She jumped out in front,

When a bullet came for me.

The next story I have to tell,

Is a brother that I met

In a camp on the base.

As I cried for the loss of my best friend,

He leaned down by my face:

“Man, I know just how you feel,

More than anyone, I’m sure.

But you can find a way to deal,

If you remember who she died for.”

We bonded then, there in the heat,

On a base in a green tent.

Which made it harder to say goodbye,

When at last our luck had spent.

She stood in the kitchen, singing a song,

Her kids ran around the halls,

Staring at the phone, hoping to get

One of her husband’s calls.

Instead, a knock sounded, cold and hollow,

She dropped what she had,

Running to the door,

Her fears she tried to swallow.

As the door creaked open,

Her heart creaked closed.

“We’re so sorry, m’am.

But he did leave you this.”

A little black notebook filled with memories,

That she held close to her chest.

Her heart filled with love.

At least he left her this.