During World War II, Hollywood bombshell Hedy Lamarr
invented a method of encrypting communications
between a submarine and a torpedo on its way to target.
Two radios could hop around the spectrum, working in harmony,
a handshake tuned by hardware more at home
with punch cards and player pianos.
Every time I push-to-talk and hear
the synchronous COMSEC beep,
I think of that cartoonist’s quote about Ginger Rogers:
“She did everything Fred Astaire did,
except backwards and in high heels.”
Randy Brown embedded with his former Iowa Army National Guard unit as a civilian journalist in Afghanistan, May-June 2011. He authored the poetry collection Welcome to FOB Haiku: War Poems from Inside the Wire (Middle West Press, 2015). His work has appeared widely in literary print and on-line publications. As ‘Charlie Sherpa,’ he blogs about military culture at: www.redbullrising.com.