Post more comments
Want a gift card for being active Forum member? Post comments and win $25 gift card every week.
Rules: will be giving away gift cards (worth $75 in total) every week to first three members ($25 each) who participate most in our forum discussions. You just have to post comments on forum pages, poet pages or poem pages anywhere inside
Comments posted needs to be in different pages. Posting more than 1 comment on the same page will only be counted once.
Members can not post comments without being logged in. has the right to cancel or edit this contest. has a right to disqualify or ban member(s) without providing any type of reason, belief or proof in regards to any type of illegal activity or fraud.

Tom J. Mariani

(January 1948 / San Francisco, CA)

World War II Lessons That We're Still Fighting

Summer of 1966
I had been working
Since I turned eighteen
As an apprentice pressman

It was summertime in San Francisco
I got to work full time so in the Fall
I could afford to work part-time
And go to college

My dad had been
A newspaper pressman
Since he returned home
From WW II in the Pacific

He got me my job at the Chronicle
That was how you got union jobs
You had to know someone
Who was already working there

That's why no Blacks were in our union
None worked upstairs either
To report there were none
Working on the presses downstairs

My dad was only seventeen
When he and his buddies
Signed up for the Navy
Right after Pearl Harbor

His graduation was in North Carolina
Learning how to be a tail-gunner
Getting ready to ship out and find out
What the wide white line was for

Painted down the middle of the floor
Of the hall where the band played loud
While young men danced with women
Most would never see again

The local civilians thought
Concessions were being made
By even allowing them
In the building

But my dad saw firsthand
They knew their place
One side of the dance floor
Restrooms bar and buffet tables

Where for Whites Only
Sailors Waves nurses and
Local white females
Waiting to dance and be held

The other side of the line
Not to be crossed
Its restrooms bar and separate buffet
Were for the Blacks

They all danced
To the same music
Only careful not to cross
That wide white painted line

Summer of 1966
We danced in Golden Gate Park
Silly us - - - Did we think we had erased
That wide white dividing line

Submitted: Monday, October 29, 2007
Edited: Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Do you like this poem?
0 person liked.
0 person did not like.

Read this poem in other languages

This poem has not been translated into any other language yet.

I would like to translate this poem »

word flags

What do you think this poem is about?

Comments about this poem (World War II Lessons That We're Still Fighting by Tom J. Mariani )

Enter the verification code :

  • John Nightingale (12/19/2007 4:16:00 AM)

    Tom. This is a topic that fascinates me. Once the white line is removed by authority, how do you then remove it from a persons mind? For the poem and the topic 10. (Report) Reply

Read all 1 comments »

Top Poems

  1. Phenomenal Woman
    Maya Angelou
  2. The Road Not Taken
    Robert Frost
  3. If You Forget Me
    Pablo Neruda
  4. Still I Rise
    Maya Angelou
  5. Dreams
    Langston Hughes
  6. Annabel Lee
    Edgar Allan Poe
  7. If
    Rudyard Kipling
  8. I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings
    Maya Angelou
  9. Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening
    Robert Frost
  10. Invictus
    William Ernest Henley Updates

Poem of the Day

poet Algernon Charles Swinburne

I hid my heart in a nest of roses,
Out of the sun's way, hidden apart;
In a softer bed than the soft white snow's is,
Under the roses I hid my heart.
...... Read complete »

[Hata Bildir]