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The War Effort

By Marie Colligan

The chrome bumper of the old Ford,
no more rusted and pitted than its counterpart,
the Caddy, parked across the street,
their gas tanks empty.
Both icons of the war effort.

War rationing
Applied to food, tires, gasoline, and nylon stockings.
Its presence sapping the brightest bit of life from every known thing.
“Do Without!” Became the mantra of the war effort.

During this dismal hour,
the absence of happiness
bowed to the tensions of tomorrows
pervading ordinary life
with a gray-water down pour.

“Doing without”
The curse of the war effort.
A country wrapped in a cloak of patriotism—“Do without. Do without.”
Use ration coupons!
We did. We did.
And every pink depression-glass dish
found in soap-powder boxes,
gave hope and color to our gray existence.
Irving Berlin music helped,
but his needle was stuck in a war song groove,
while the Andrew Sisters crooned
to soothe our land
waving banners like magic wands
“Buy U.S. Bonds. U.S. Bonds.”

Marie Colligan, a New Jersey native, currently resides in Lynchburg, Va. She is the oldest niece of 4 veterans who saw active duty in WW2. Her novel, Marcel’s Gift, and her 1st Place award-winning short stories, may be found in her collection, Hurry Up, Charlie, all available on Amazon. She is currently working on a collection of WW2 short stories and poems.

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