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                  The only thing that really frightened me

                      during the war was the U boat peril.

      -- Prime Minister Winston Churchill


Dad said the British Bulldog mighta been more upset

if he’d watched his buddies bleed out or get captured

in the Battle of the Bulge Western Front

surprise attack rather than assaulting

high tea time’s battle of the bulge

in a linen waistcoat.


More than a century and a half after our colonies

freed themselves from England’s yoke

Bay of Biscay to Biscayne Bay,

those were glückliche Zeiten für Unterseeboote

during which wolf packs of subs

unloaded torpedoes and mines


on grimy Gulf of Mexico targets

then dispersed onto the banks

of those gentle American towns

spies in sheep’s clothing with counterfeit

driver’s licenses plus razor-on-sunburned-cheek

looks which disguised they’d been submerged for weeks.