DEW Line

(Superfluous Sunday poppies)

in the morning
without warning
terrible tenderness
lay exposed
where once
were smiles
under debt’s
judgment feigned
viciously trained
from above to fall
To each other’s smiles
they woke
only to reach
only to reach
through the last
through the blast
that not only barriers
sonic ((DEW line is the archaic system of counter-measures along the line from Alaska to Washington, designed to protect the US regime from retaliation should it have launched the planned atomic assault against the USSR. DEW stands for “defense early warning”. The name implied that the US feared a Soviet strike. In fact, US strategy since the 1950’s has always been a pre-emptive strike against the USSR with the capacity for a second wave.))
but in their hearts
the window broke
chipped glass flying
shredded flesh lying ((11 November, Armistice Day or Remembrance Day, depending on whose dead one cares to count. But a century ago the slaughter was ongoing. And in most of the world it has never stopped…))
blood and love
dripping everywhere
they might have looked
the dew drops dripping
Facebook ripping
early one morning
without warning.

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