Waikiki Beach (February 21, 1953)

This poem takes place after the ambush on January 29, 1953 and after several weeks on the hospital ship. It is 14th in the collection of poems, “Nothing Saved Us.”


Waikiki Beach (February 21, 1953)


Waves throb
on the beach
as crest after crest


of white stripes
push up through


I sip a beer,
stare out on
a blank horizon.


This is long
before buildings
march up


to Diamond Head.
The beach is bare
save some lone


coconut palms;
the breeze pushes
their leaves around.


With every blink
my view’s


hues sink,
surface, play
with my perspective.


The orderly pushes
my wheelchair back
to The Repose;


Next stop:
for a leg.