Nick Sweet


On that night in San Diego when he danced with Betty Grable
And with all his G. I. Buddies was invited to her table
At first his foxtrot faltered on legs a bit unstable
By chorus he regained it, and they floated smooth and able

He danced as if before the war, before the occupation
Before the barefoot orphans waded through the devastation
Before he followed orders that had nullified sensation
And left him drained and broken with no glimpse of restoration

While holding Betty closely he whispered, so he claims,
"You just have to call me if you split with Harry James,"
He never really said it, he wasn't glib with dames
But this amended memory would help erase the flames

The many burning villages, the many refugees
Vacant stares of conquered men, sobbing mothers' pleas
But he knew while guiding Betty with elegance and ease
Some distant day he'd care again, his haunted heart appeased

Nick Sweet
Ardmore, Oklahoma
NICK SWEET, 60, Ardmore, stage director, playwright and poet, is employed at Evan's Children's Academy for the Performing Arts, Ponca City, Okla. He is collaborating with songwriter Becky Hobbs on a play about Cherokee Chieftainess Nancy Ward. Sign: Pisces.