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Tuesday, Jan. 8, 2013

Indiana Spring,1946

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We pushed and stumbled through
thickets of young willows, cotton
woods, red osier, belly
crawling on spicy weeds
we couldn’t name, all of it now
our own Iwo Jima. We wanted
our beautiful war back.  

Bending and entering a willow
shelter we found a cold fire
site, wine bottles, rusty Prince
Albert can, bloody butcher’s paper.
On a budding willow limb boxer
shorts filled with green
flies, shocking as a dead man.

Out of there, quick, to our junkyard
torpedo bomber.  String of bullet
holes on the fuselage, three
japanese flags painted under
the pilot's place. Wingless
and ready for us, and what else

can I tell you?  We went on or
we didn't.  One died in Korea,
some did what they promised
themselves, most didn't .  I guess
you could say we made what we
could  of the wreckage we inherited.

James Hazard (1935-2012) poet.