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 Contemporary poetry by Dan Donlan

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In high school boy no one noticed
Joining the Air Force I was a chick magnet
Guys look good in uniform
I looked skinny and shy and nerdy
Somewhat the way I look today
Only a hundred pounds fatter
Young girls are attracted to uniforms
On the picture blackboard posted my girlfriends
All the Airman put girlfriends on the board
Mine were the envy of the base
The cutest girls that were posted
Problem was I never dated any of them

Cousin introduced me to Susie
A high school cutie
The night before I left for boot camp
Saw her once for ten minutes
between high school classes
Three years later she wrote we were engaged
In letters--because between bases changed--
I never came home
She turned down dating her boyfriend was an Airman--me?
Picture was sent from Korea above Inchon Harbor

The day before meeting Susie a blind date with Alfreda
Valedictorian of her class and soon to leave for college
A most popular girl, cheerleader as well as smart
OK, we dated at her high school prom one night
In uniform-- next day leaving for boot camp
We won the King and Queen dance contest
Dad would not let her date until after college
I was safe next day in the military
Dated three years in letters and soon I was her fiance
I was engaged to two girls both I saw once in person

Third of the girls I did have a relationship--somewhat!
Veronica was a beautiful young nurse
Studying to someday enter Medical school and be a Doctor
In the Hospital we shared duty, Hospital supplies
There were quiet times we were friends
Far above my class and beautiful
Airman Medic we worked together laughed and giggled
Potential beau's would come daily ask her out
Not Airman like me but Doctors and officers
She would say, "Sorry but I already have a boyfriend!"
Had no idea she meant me. Airman could not date a Nurse
She read the letters from my one day girlfriends
How was I going to break it to them I hardly knew them?
The transfer to Korea came
It was a sad parting I could not face

A care package came to me from the States with a letter
"You Ninny, were you going to leave without saying goodbye?"
I could only answer, "I thought you had a boyfriend you were
so far out of my league. It broke my heart knowing that."
"You ninny, you were always my boyfriend."

End of my Airman career I was very sick
All three girls received returned letters,
"Recipient deceased!"
losing weight--sick, Doctor said he could not find a reason
Hold no food on my stomach
Six foot three-- one hundred thirty pounds
I was dying--!
The Doctor was trying to get me to reenlist
If I did the medical staff would find what was wrong
If not, in his opinion had three to five years to live
I could not put someone I cared about through this
I knew one of those girls would not leave and give her life to me

Receiving my letter Veronica flew to my home
to be with my mother in her time of need
In a taxi outside my front door
Saw me as I was hugging my younger Sister
As i was being taken to a civilian Doctor
I needed a second opinion
Veronica cried sent a letter to Mom
How cruel I was
thinking I was a chick magnet
playing the games
Sis pretty, my Sister cared for her brother
The mysterious illness
On second opinion, "Food allergies"
Once the diet changed I was not dying
Veronica was so special
I know she found someone I did
My letters of explanation came back unopened

First chick sent me a wedding announcement,
A year of so later, Bitter, "Do not attend!"
Second found me, Let me know she too was not fooled,
circled and showed me what I was missing.
Pointed at her wedding ring.
I guess the engagements were over
I have few regrets just that I hurt someone
On the radio Elvis was singing, "Return to Sender!"
Love sometimes stranger than fiction

 








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