Viewing the War

Like bookmarks inserted, like hard disc

data-bases of memory for long-term storage,

annotated pages, scribbles barely discernable,

we had been put there like minor pieces on a board,

and were now enmeshed in the midst

of a war.

Still, we  didn’t give a damn. Just let us play our game,

pick ruddy ripe fruit from trees.

One day they showed us how it went,

gave us a gun, taught us how to aim.

My glasses were thick as a cup of tea;

It was like looking at the moon.

We took our two

young children to the edge.

They scrambled in and out of tanks,

played amongst carcasses

that had been left to rot.

In the distance smoke rose

like an impressionist bouquet.

You could hear noises, discordant protesting shouts.

Radioactive dust began to spread

so we had to leave.

They said, First you should see

how it has to end. They took us to a tree

where many of the enemy

had been hung. Their pants were wet.

We took souvenir coins

from their pockets to show the kids.

Figs were good that day;

would practically melt in your mouth.