Monday, November 27, 2017

The Bombing of Butler ~

The planes would come in
from the West
at an angle, so as to run
up along the valley
to destroy our mills,
then lay a carpet of bombs
one mile wide
straight up across our town,
fixing on the Court House
then out to the hill beyond
where the hospital stands
then further still
to our railroad yards
and the bridge across.
Twenty merciless runs they'd make
and whatever still stood
would be ground
in drafts of fire—

burnt into memory
Try to imagine.

And those who survived
would gather along the creek
where water soothed
or in our woods
under protecting wings
while one long dirge of soft wailing
would be heard
for what had been.

Then one among them would rise,
agéd now and enlightened,
with that one word empowered:
And it would happen.

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