On a river bank,
in the shadow of a battered pickup,
men fish,
share beer and myths and fables.

Above, a chopper is circling
close to the treetops.
A whirr like a giant insect
rotates every head upward.

It hovers,
is reflected in the water.
Trout swim in and out
of its rippling blades.

Thank God it’s one of ours,
laughs one of the men.
Traffic copter most likely.

The vets among them
should know to breathe easier.
But there’s sudden sweats
to be attended to
with a wipe of the hand.
And nerves to be coaxed back to calm.

Then the chopper flies off,
heads south toward the overpass.
Once again, the war is over.
They can all sit back
and watch the victorious sunset

John Grey is an Australian poet, US resident, recently published in Dissident Voice, New World Writing, Santa Fe Literary Review, and Lost Pilots. Latest books, ”Between Two Fires”, “Covert” and “Memory Outside The Head” are available through Amazon. Work upcoming in the Seventh Quarry, La Presa and California Quarterly.. Read other articles by John.