Memorial Day 2002

I’d nearly forgotten that room
but lately, things appear
in the narrow, dark space
between door and linoleum:

Fingertips of palm fronds;
fragments of jungle fatigues;
love beads we wore under them.

Acrid, burning wreckage
of a helicopter delivering mail
and Christmas dinners to a hot LZ.

Foul, strange aroma
of mama-san improvising
meals out of fish heads and rice.

Thunderous roar of F-4 Phantoms
climbing in tandem, urgency in their contrails,
distant varumpf of bombs in mountains.

Sing-song complaints
of mothers moved
from ancestral villages,
their children clinging

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