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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 4 – Masters)
Topic: Conversation (face to face) (10/07/10)

TITLE: The Home Front
By Beth LaBuff


An attractive young miss
With an innocent glow
Flaunted eyes that flashed sapphire blue.
She was stylishly dressed
In a mid-calf length skirt,
Bobby socks, and her swell saddle shoes.

Then a knock at her door
Brightened sapphire eyes,
Twas her beau with the raven-black hair,
In the parlor's retreat
With delight in their eyes—
Tête-à-tête in two ladder-back chairs.

Upon coffee they sipped,
Their lives turbulence-free,
In the village of South Eagleton,
On an October eve,
As the maples leaves fell,
In the year of our Lord, 'forty-one.

"I see a great nation, upon a great continent, blessed with a
great wealth of natural resources. Its hundred and thirty
million people are at peace among themselves; they are
making their country a good neighbor among the nations."1

While upon those two chairs
As they sat face to face,
They both blushingly made future plans,
And those sapphire eyes,
Charmed by raven-black hair,
As he lovingly cradled her hands.

They took afternoon drives
In his red Chevy truck,
They'd converse 'bout the home of their dreams,
On a oak tree-lined street,
At the edge of the town
Sat a house that was blue, trimmed in cream.

Then as October passed
Into November's chill,
Then December, though none could foresee
That a tragic attack,
Their lives instantly changed,
And that day's epithet—Infamy.

"My Fellow Americans: We are now in this war. We are all in it –
all the way. Every single man, woman, and child is a partner
in the most tremendous undertaking of our American history.
We must share together the bad news and the good news,
the defeats and the victories— the changing fortunes of war."2

Then when Uncle Sam called
For he needed the aid
Of her beau with the raven-black hair,
And a whispered farewell,
While her sapphire eyes
Filled with tears as her heart breathed a prayer.

In the evenings she sat
In the parlor alone,
She would hunger for news of the day.
With the radio on
She would eagerly glean
Scraps of news from the war far away.

No more heart-to-heart talks,
No more holding-of-hands,
Only fear for the peril he faced.
And a one-sided talk
With the Fireside Chats
While her hopes in the good Lord were placed.

"Today, the sons of the New World are fighting in lands far
distant from their own America. They are fighting to save for all
mankind, including ourselves, the principles which have flourished
in this new world of freedom."3

Her sapphire eyes
Pined for sight of her beau—
For a glimpse of his raven-black hair,
For all she possessed
Was a photo that hung
On the wall near the ladder-back chair.

As her stockings wore thin,
Her resourcefulness showed
As she mended her clothes that wore out.
She'd adhere to the rule
To conserve, "Use it up,
Wear it out, make it do, ... do without."

In the parlor she'd write
As his photo she held,
With their letters, they would correspond.
With her dimes she bought stamps
That she saved in her book,
To acquire a U.S. War Bond.

"And every one – every man or woman or child –
who bought a War Bond helped — and helped mightily!"4

She missed his rich voice,
And the afternoon drives.
For his pickup truck sat in the shed,
With it's driver at war,
And the gas rationing,
For the impact of war was widespread.

Then the final invasion
In Normandy, France,
With the Allies at Omaha Beach,
Gave new hope to her heart
That she'd soon hear his voice,
And the end of the war was in reach.

Then her sapphire eyes
Gleamed at raven-black hair
When he took the red truck from the shed,
With the wind at their backs
On their faces—the sun,
On a mild day in June they were wed.

"Slowly but surely we are weaving a world fabric of
international security and growing prosperity."5

Then the raven-haired man
And the wife of his youth
Bought the charming blue home of their dreams,
Then along came a child
With that raven-black hair
And her eyes flashed a sapphire gleam.

Now we see but a poor reflection ...
then we shall see face to face.
1 Corinthians 13:12 NIV

1 – Franklin D. Roosevelt, Second Inaugural Address, January 20, 1937
2 – FDR, Fireside Chat #19, December 9, 1941
3 – FDR, Chat #23, October 12, 1942
4 –FDR, Chat #30, June 12, 1944
5 – Harry S. Truman, First Inaugural Address, January 20, 1949

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This article has been read 789 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Sarah Heywood10/21/10
I like this! You did a great job of capturing a unique time in our history - and in such a creative way!
Verna Cole Mitchell 10/21/10
I fell in love a bit myself with the couple--he of the raven black hair and she with the sapphire eyes--as their lives unfolded in a turbulent time of our nation's history. Delightful poetry.
Laury Hubrich 10/22/10
Great job interspersing history into the story of this poem. Awesome work! I was so scared he wouldn't make it back home alive. Thank you for the happy ending!
Marita Thelander 10/23/10
I smiled huge at the swell saddle shoes but the smile quickly faded when I realized it was about the war. Caught up in their story as it unfolded, I was relieved he made it home. Whew!

Great job unfolding the story interspersing historical quotes with well-written poetry.
Shann Hall-LochmannVanBennekom 10/24/10
You did such a great job of telling a sweet love story inverse nonetheless. Great job
Yvonne Blake 10/25/10
A very creative touch with the quotes! Well done!
Carol Penhorwood 10/26/10
How cleverly done! Your poetry always paints a descriptive story that is enjoyed by these "hazel" eyes. You've made this time in our history come alive!
Well done, my friend!