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The Swinging Brdge

Story ID:10492
Written by:Monte Leon Manka (bio, contact, other stories)
Organization:retired
Story type:Poem
Location:El Dorado Kansas USA
Year:1944
Person:Drafted Kid
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The Swinging Brdge

The Swinging Bridge

Many years ago
In the town of El Dorado
September of 1944
Not quite old enough for War

One day all alone
I drove to the park
Walked out on the swinging bridge
Sundown, not yet dark

And as I watched the river
Flow slowly beneath my feet
Knew soon I would be drafted
Thought this rather neat

Dad needed me to help on the farm
With the cattle and those pesky chores
But I knew that I wasnít staying
Because Uncle Sam needed me more

My Mom and little brother
Was killed in nineteen forty one
So that would leave Dad
Home, alone

I had a steady girlfriend
She I would also be leaving behind
We would be separated for years
Forever, suddenly crossed my mind

To fight for our country
Many friends had gone on before
In Army, Navy, Marines and Air Corps
In that Second World War

As I stood there motionless
Deep in thought
That swinging bridge
I began to rock

As I swayed slowly to and fro
Just inches above the water
Appeared a bunch of bubbles
I saw a water strider

Brought me back
From feeling sorry for me
Itíll make a man of you
Itíll be an adventure, doncha see?

I left that swinging bridge
Got into my car
A few weeks later
I went off to war

Dad brought me to the Bus Depot
Let me out and said goodbye
Drove on up East Central Street
This big man was about to cry

Iíd never seen Dad write
A Letter from him I did not seek
But I could count on one
About every other week

Kept me abreast of all the chores
I heard about things on the farm
Cows, plowing, planting
The weather cold or warm

Those letters meant more to me
Than I could relate to you
Iím sure for him a monumental task
Iíd read them through and through

Motherís day is tomorrow
My mother I knew for 13 years
Mom I Know youíre up in heaven
Still love you-have no fearó

Monte L. Manka 5-9-2015