Korea 1951

by | Jul 14, 2007 | Poetry | 0 comments

Korea 1951

First light
And roseate dawn pieces spires of
Wood smoke rising from the village
Fingers of mist cling
Still to the mountain
Hiding in shadow safe
From the sun
The village stirs and children
Laugh by the well
Singing, a man leads his oxen
Across the paddi
First light
And the northern sky is dark
With smoke from napalm bombs
Flickering about the entrenchments
Oily flames burn both the
Living and the dead
Exhaust pipes roar and
The tanks move forward
Howling, a jetplane hurries
Back to its base
Last light
And evening chill lies
On the smoking timbers
Quietly rising mist
Smothers the mountain
Hiding in shadow
Blackened earth and bone
The well is dead and
The village is silent
Dying, the oxen lie in
The scorched rice
Last light
And rows of glistening
Turrets sleep in quiet leaguer
Creaking cooling exhaust and engine
Warm the living in their bed
Whispering sentries
Pace the perimeter
Humming, the radio watch
Sugars his tea


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