Tailgunner Joe

Tailgunner Joe

Had you no decency, Tailgunner Joe?
You wouldn’t leave our commie friends alone.
You didn’t blush to hear the leftists groan
About the way you dared to fight the foe.
Why on earth did the nation need to know
Where infiltrators were? The Great Unknown
Can be a comfort in the Twilight Zone—
And truth is frequently the cause of woe.
They cut you off and pushed you out of sight
At last. Your doggedness just couldn’t shatter
Those final obstacles, nor could your light
Reach shadows duly shielded. Even sadder,
When in the end we learned that you’d been right,
The pundits sneered and said it didn’t matter.

–Tom Riley