Days of Infamy

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The day recedes into peaceful night
spreading gentle darkness
over wide California fields,

the flames of history
nearly forgotten
but for the ember glow
In the wrinkled cobalt sky.

But we remember
bloody days

when war-planes roared
into the rising Pacific sun
and ripped it
into sanguine strips.

Bombs pierced polished decks,
and amazed sailors dove
into crimson waters,
as the Rising Sun spread darkness
Over half the globe

seventy-one years ago. . .

. . . yet just say the date
and silence fills any room.

We remember movies we’ve seen
Of dive-bombers and chaos,
heroes rising in fighters to
stave off the improbable wave.

We see old men in service caps,
Tossing wreaths into
bright Hawaiian waters.

They weep
as old wounds
again bleed.

They gaze into the sad eyes
Of buddies who
didn’t make it.

And we think of our own losses,

Korea and Vietnam,
torrents of blood
flowing through fertile
Asian valleys,

and the obscenity of 9-11,
insurgency raping
Iraq and
Afghanistan,

and we ask, “When will it end?”

Nodding slowly,
we know.

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