Once Upon a Time

Once Upon a Time

By Garland Davis


To walk those muddy streets once again

Sail the South China Sea and Tonkin

Stained with salt and running rust

Gale winds, typhoons wrath, and yellowed seas

Pacific Fleet an ill to poisoned freedom;


If only memory

In this case

Was exaggerated


The muddy streets, once dusty, before the rain,

Buildings, scraped, peeled, bars, welcoming

Interrupted only by the thunder,

A girlchild/woman, plastic raincoat tucked around her

Hand sheltering her eyes beckons from the door


Once across the bridge

Toward the bars and clubs

Bleak in the afternoon light


Moved along by the wind and rain

And we passed too, alongside her

Her hand pulls to bring us inside

Her words offer cold beer, her eyes offer much more

Never mind, more of the same is offered further along


Coming back full to see

Woman’s eyes still offering

Everything in the day and night;


I hope she doesn’t die there.



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