A Promise Kept

by Marshall Jamison

(Publisher’s Note: We are pleased to announce that this poem, after being seen in GO INSIDE Magazine, has been selected for publication in The National Library of Poetry’s book: “The Best Poetry of 1997”)

He held her again as he had when she first told him.
Then she told him again and then he promised
To marry her as soon as he was eighteen
And he did.

At twenty-two after two more babies
And before they could conceive again
He volunteered for the Navy, took basic training in California,
Was assigned to Pacific duty, finally to Hawaii
and the battleship USS Arizona forever.