Three Poems


Contemplating a Statue of
Douglas MacArthur on Corregidor Island

Evening star, still star, brilliant gleam in
The sky how I wish Douglas never returned

Had taken that slow boat to China instead
By way of Okinawa, by way of Japan.

Doggone Dugout Doug, what was in
That pipe you smoked, thinking you
Were our jut-jawed liberator when you

Were the oppressor, when the dreams
You handed the little brown brothers
Were as fleeting as corn-cob smoke

When all there is to show for it in the
Monsoon air of Corregidor, this lair
Of Chinese corsairs, Spanish jailers
And Yankee officers, is this bald-headed

Expatriate Minnesotan in the boots of
His occupier father determined to keep
These islands slices of American pie?

He is in love with the guns now silent
And his twisted odes on freedom
Lie as flotsam on the dark waters of
History, in love with the ruins of a life
That never was.