Steward


The recruiter told me
I could see the world
Travel to distant lands
And fight for freedom
And justice everywhere
He told me
I would be a hero

A hero that
swaps decks
Does laundry
Cooks food
Cleans machinery
Never seeing
Anything
But lifeless
Gray metal
From within

The recruiter told me
I could move up the ranks
Maybe become captain
Someday
And win battles
And defend our country anywhere
He told me
I would be a hero

A hero that
Irons uniforms
Catered to officers
Washed dishes
Polished brass
Never seeing
Anything
But lifeless
Gray metal
From within

The recruiter told me
How good it was
To be in the Navy
He never told me he lied.

Previously published:  FANHS SD Newsletter Winter 1998, Volume 2, Issue 4



My father, Robert Sr. was drafted as a steward, like many other Pilipinos.  He served this country for 22 years.  He and many
others were lucky, they were able to move out of that job and into others.  My father eventually became a supply chief.  This
poem is for him, and the many other military men who were promised big dreams, but found it far from reality.  This poem was
written on eve of Veterans Day.

On a side note, as a tribute to all those who fought in wars everywhere, especially the WWII veterans,  The Filipino Student
Union (Katipunan) at UC Riverside held a candle light vigil.  It was a cold night, but it was worth it.  These candles were for
you, veteran.


ęCopyright 1998 by Robert Jon Zita Lansang, Jr. All rights reserved. No part of this particular website may be reproduced in any manner whatsoever without the expressed written consent of the author. For requests of permission to print, link, reproduce, or use any material copyrighted by the author may contact the author at jonrobert@ureach.com