(04 October 1943 / Germany)

Enola Gay

Who was the man who on that fateful day
dropped from the safety of cumulus clouds
a metal case filled to the very rim with death?
Who was the fellow piloting the Enola Gay?

And did he grin when when sudden panic choked their breath?
A mushroom cloud arose, accompanied by shrouds
of radiation puffs that travelled incognito
throughout the city, far away from Hirohito.

'Oh, yes, Hiroshima', he said out on the porch,
a lovely wife in summer dress, a girl of five,
'the little bastards, all them nips, they got the torch,
though in the end there was a handful still alive.'

A handsome picket fence around their little castle,
a dog, asleep in cooling shade right by the door,
since he retired he had left behind the hassle,
all the publicity, the hero talk and more.

Well, he supposed he'd be in every student's book
and generations would remember what he'd done.
But not a single person mentioned what he took
that blasted day when many lost their only sun.

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Comments (1)

A well-characterised mini screen-play in verse, if you will, Herbert. For me, the mutating rhyme scheme adds to the sense of disgust and dismay in the poem: wanton rhyme, wanton, wicked actions. An empathetic portrayal of a despicable act of history. G.