by Cecily Hamlin Wells

We had no sense of world war
except for absent fathers, night blinds, war bonds,
bacon grease dripped on top of yesterday’s grease,
tin cans cleaned, crushed and saved,
peas we ate in the name of starving children,

except at Saturday movies
when Pathé Pictures, its crowing rooster
squawked the news of the day,
flocks of planes thumping the enemy,
while dodging firecracker-like artillery
on some far away Pacific Island.

We lived in a house with a wide, smiling wrap-around porch,
architect designed gardens, our playground; lower branches
of the magnolia tree the perch from which I first met Jane Eyre;
a patio flanked by two large lion sculptures
like those at the entrance of the NY Public library,
stage for our home-grown thespian productions;
an abundant avocado tree just outside the kitchen door,
condiment and compliment  to our meals;
bountiful blooms–iris, camellias, gardenias—
source for our door-to-door bouquet sales
in pursuit of capital to support our Good Humor addiction.

No spies or whistleblowers informed on us
except for Sy Wheaton who confessed under duress
to the underground fort we built in the backyard,
a trench his mother made us fill in
shovel, by shovel
with dirt.

Cecily Anne Hamlin Wells has published poems and short fiction in Long Story Short, moonShine Review, Christmas Presence (a collection of stories and poems by Western North Carolina writers), in several anthologies, and has two poems pending publication in Echoes Across the Blue Ridge. She received Honorable Mention for her entries in the 76th Writer’s Digest Writing Competition in Fiction and in the 77th Writer’s Digest Competition Magazine Category. Her two entries in the Writer’s Digest 5th Annual Poetry Competition earned Honorable Mention and are scheduled for publication.

About Theaters—The first draft of this poem was inspired by two exercises, one to write a prose poem and one to write about place. It seemed like a disaster. In the end, I lost the prose part of the poem, but ended up with the place in place.