down the avenue
I went strolling
I met all sorts
some gaily dressed.
No one heard
the thunder rolling ((Operation Rolling Thunder comprised nearly four years (1965 – 68) of continuous heavy bombardment of the Vietnamese people by the US regime. The main delivery vehicle were the F-105 fighter bombers. Accompanying Rolling Thunder was Arc Light, the use of B-52 high-altitude strategic bombers, for ground support. B-52 bombers flew so high that they could not be detected audibly until their payloads detonated.))
some men
in pinstripes
conducted polling
of the few
encountering stress.
Along the mile
no longer golden
into each open door
I peered,
men and women
sat weary, leering
at the players
the setting sun,
among the blind
I found no one,
the flames,
the screams
to quell or soothe,
deceit to quit
in search of truth.

Dr T.P. Wilkinson writes, teaches History and English, directs theatre and coaches cricket between the cradles of Heine and Saramago. He is also the author of Church Clothes, Land, Mission and the End of Apartheid in South Africa. Read other articles by T.P..