Vietnam XII

We listen to a strike go in,
watch the copper twinkle of flares,
hear the pilots mark "On top."

Bombs drop out of no category
into no pattern. I don't know,
they shoot back,
the pilots note the flak offhand,
we take it in like kids at a picture show.

I don't know, a bend of river, sampans
maybe maybe not with contraband,
the great jet's angle of dive, the pilot's thumb
all come to a coincidence.

Then, too far to hear,
heat lightning there                                        and there, there.

John Barr / from The Hundred Fathom Curve

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