Nancy Scott

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Love Story in Wartime

I wrote him handsome, blond buzz cut,
quick smile, but also troubled.
Recently back from the war zone,
he was plagued with terrible flashbacks.
She was sixteen, a dark-haired beauty,
too young for him.

I knew everything I needed to know
about them, their every thought,
what they were going to say
even before they spoke.

They should never have met,
but I wanted them to taste passion.
I knew it wasn’t going to last.
Too many obstacles stood in their way.

It took forty thousand words
for them to discover the truth.
I made sure they were strong enough
to handle whatever they faced.

What happened afterwards?
He went to Ohio, a big state.
I didn’t know where to find him.
He was learning to be inscrutable.
She grew up, probably got married,
had kids, what women did back then.

If they met, by chance, years later,
perhaps a spark ignited between them
and they acted on it.
Not so unusual: a man with secrets
and the woman who loved him.


Nancy Scott has been managing editor of U.S.1 Worksheets for more than a decade and the author of nine collections of poetry and, recently, a novella (Marriage by Fire). She is also a collage artist and her images have appeared on the covers of several of her books.