If Temujin could be Genghis Khan,

why not Milton Paul as Marmaduke

in the no-man’s land of South Ozone Queens.

Father said these were historic times,

suggesting I to keep a scrapbook

of the progress of the Great War in ’43.

Fast on my feet, I evaded spears and stones

hurled at me as I charged the Krauts on Anzio,

flinging sycamore itchy-ball hand grenades

into every portal of the enemy’s pillbox.

From my tree house bunker I barked

into my homemade walkie-talkie:

“Attack, Attack, Attack!”

We lined up the enemy in front of a firing squad

and took turns shooting my Daisy Rifle BB gun.

In the Flushing Meadows swamp,

redwing blackbirds eyed us suspiciously.

My binoculars followed Panzer divisions

as fire burned to prepare our flaming arrows:

dried cattails soaked in lighter fluid.

Mothers’ metal washboards, our suits of armor,

for shields, round wooden covers

scrounged from Mr. Hoffman’s vegetable store.

We fought every battle from the landing

in Sicily to the Normandy beachhead on D-Day

until we were called home for dinner.