Tea

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We have a black & white picture: a lewdly smiling

young almost Ronald Reagan in uniform in a Japanese

whorehouse with two unnamed, bug-eyed boys.

“That’s why I’ve always associated tea with sex,”

 

he’d explain. He’d joined up after his older brother

Wayne’s plane crashed taking out kamikaze. They’d

 

buried Wayne in France where his hard-scrabble

mother could never afford to visit. “At least that way

I got to see the grave,” Dad said. “They wanted me

 

to be an officer, but I just wanted to go home.” The war

ended for my father on a ship halfway to the Pacific

 

Theater. With a belly full of cheap bourbon,

he’d talk about trading KP or guard duty

 

for others’ beer allotment. Once, after a friend passed,

he mentioned how a bunch of them had hopped

 

a truck to see what Fat Man left of Nagasaki.

“I’m probably the only one left that saw it,” he said.

 

Photo By: Nomadic Lass

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About Author

CL Bledsoe is the author of a dozen books, most recently the poetry collection Riceland and the novel Man of Clay. He’s been published in hundreds of journals and reads frequently in the mid-Atlantic region. He currently lives in Alexandria, VA with his daughter.

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