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Page 54

<< 53. Unspeakable55. The Girl in the Picture (poem) >>

Destroyer (poem)

By Allen Meece

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At the Hukilau bar
there's a chart
laminated on the table
with depths and heights
of beautiful Pearl Harbor.

My thoughts go winging away
like the tradewind clouds
floating overhead that day
the destroyer enters
Pearl Harbor bay.

In a Key West tiki bar
I remember Pearl Harbor
and the day we went in.
An "ocean greyhound" in the garden.

Long Tom five-inch guns
pointing straight ahead
to misty mountain forest
rising from the sea bed.

Hawaii. DD 950 on her way to war.
They lied. Called it just
"a military conflict."

Over the USS Arizona we glide
that monument to hate
where twenty-five years earlier
two thousand sailors met their fate.

All on a Sunday morning.
They're still there
waving their bony hands
saying "Don't go, let it wait."

Three sailors rented a jeep
and around Oahu sped
then set sail for Viet Nam
to kill whomever
the capitalists said.

Young man do listen
and listen with your head
if you're alive
and love the living
let the dead bury the dead.

—Allen Meece

<< 53. Unspeakable55. The Girl in the Picture (poem) >>

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