Uncle Dave is home from the war to take
my brother and me to Revere beach
where we claim our childhood in happy
wandering. We search for shells
in the crusted sand, count our footprints
until we find, half-buried, a lobster trap
we want to dig up and lug through the subway.
Uncle Dave says No, standing between the ocean
and the boulevard, Lobsters always find
themselves in traps they can’t escape.
Next summer, from across the world,
he’ll send a letter from his new ship
and a snapshot of himself on deck, in uniform,
a dark haired stranger in khaki standing beside
and a white and black terrier by their feet.
He’ll tell us just enough without telling
us anything. In the blank space
around them he’s printed :
ME RADIOMAN DOG