As soon as I walked in, Kilmartin called out,
'Welcome home, brave Ulysses, from the strife! '
Now I was glad to be back in the neighborhood,
you can count on that, and the red-faced Kilmartin
with his exuberant Irish greeting, set my heart at ease.
All the lads who had dodged the draft and avoided combat
were sitting on stools at the mahogany bar in Kilmartin's
Kennel Club, waiting patiently for a live one to buy drinks.
Three years in the Far East had changed me, and fighting
in paddy fields had awakened me to what the world had
in store for a dumb mick from the south side of Chicago!
Sink or swim, lad, I thought as I scanned the crowd.
Michael Pruchnicki's Other Poems
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(March 26, 1874 – January 29, 1963)
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