Scrap Drive

In nineteen-forty-two
my fourth grade boyfriend
and I collected
tin cans for the war effort.

The rules were strict:
wash the cans
and remove the paper label.
cut off both ends
with the turnkey
can opener
flatten the can with your foot
then insert the two ends
into it without
cutting your fingers.

We deposited the finished product
in the red wagon we hauled around
our neighborhood
until it was full
then headed for the spigot and hose
next to our driveway to finish
the job.

What I liked best
was the feel of the metal
under my brown, lace-up
Oxford, bending
from round to oval
then flat.

It was the feel of something important.
A part of the war effort
that consumed us all.
It was Hitler and Tojo
under my sole.

Poetry Monday