F. William Broome

WAR TROPHIES

Stationed behind WWII US forces taking
Pacific islands one after another
from Japanese soldiers reduced
chance of finding a war trophy until
several weeks after war’s end
our expedition into uncivilized hills of
Luzon in the Philippines for
trade with Pigmy natives made
me owner of a handmade spear
quickly hidden under my mattress
to be a showpiece for
wide-eyed back-home folk
until disappearing while
I viewed another bad movie.

Finding a Japanese lettered can
was a second chance to
carry home a genuine keepsake
awing relatives and friends but
curiosity pushed me to
find a reader of the language
an obliging Chaplain saying
it was indeed a rare war trophy
an unusual delicacy of
those in the surrendered army
canned select fish eyes!