Mark Johnston, “War Movie in Reverse” …

aerial-view-of-the-aftermath-of-first-trinity-testA powerful poem from Writing in a Nuclear Age, an anthology, edited by Jim Schley (New England Review / Bread Loaf Quarterly, 1983) [Photo: aerial view of the aftermath of first Trinity test, New Mexico]

 
Mark Johnston

 
“War Movie in Reverse”

 
Holes close to smooth skin
when the shrapnel flashes out.
The shores of burns recede,
and flames leap with their hot metal
back into the bomb that rises,
whole and air-borne again,
with its gathered blast.
Leading the plane perfectly,
the bomb arc back slowly
through the open gates
and disappears into the waiting belly.
The bombardier lifts
his peering eye from the sight.
Swallowing its wake,
the plane returns to base
with its countermanded mission.
The pilot, irresolute now, faces
his commandant, who marches,
brisk and backward
to the general’s lair.
The general takes back the orders.
But into what deep and good and hidden
recess of the will
go his thoughts of not bombing?
 
 
 
 
***
 
 
 
 

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~ by samofthetenthousandthings on January 9, 2017.

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