Vox Populi

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Doug Anderson: Tet, 1968-2015, A Valentine

Clouds heaped three tiers high on the horizon.
Lightning whitens the chambers tier by tier all the way up.
And again.
Thunder like arc light bombing and more flashes.
They’re coming, the Colonel said.
If you get a heavy concentration of mortars,
on target or not, they’re coming.
Arc light along the ridge
there there there there there there
and seconds later the rumble, with its hooves
clattering toward me through the trees.
Safeties click off like a chatter of cicadas.
They’re coming, hear their hoof beats,
see the silhouettes of their helmets
beneath the camouflage. Flash and crunch
walking them in on us. Flash,
shrapnel skittering through the trees brings down leaves.
But now they lean their long faces over the fence.
I unhook the gate and go in.
They come toward me one by one.
I rub them just below the mane and Merlin,
the whole big myth real of him,
grabs my pocket flap with his teeth as if
it were a tangled clump of brush that must come off.
He grooms me like one of his own.
This is love. They are coming, the thunder of them.
The soft eye big enough to free fall into on the way to the gods.
The ears straight up and listening.
Better than any human listening.
I wander among them and greet them one by one.
Thirty-two of them.
When they run, thunder like arc light.
They thunder like myth.
The clouds lit tier by tier all the way up flash and flash again.
And the rain, fragrant in the earth.
They are coming and they are full of love and enchantment.
The war that is happening always everywhere stops.
Their heart beats like arc light sending sending sending.
The slow pulse of them.
The knowing.

copyright 2015 Doug Anderson

One comment on “Doug Anderson: Tet, 1968-2015, A Valentine

  1. Julie
    March 18, 2015

    Powerful … Thank you!


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This entry was posted on March 18, 2015 by in Poetry and tagged , , , , , , , .

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