The Helicopter

Deborah Beach Giordano
© August 10, 2012

On seeing the helicopter “Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds” at the Santa Rosa Aircraft Museum

idle,
empty,
tied down
like an untamed beast,
or Gulliver
in the land
of Lilliput –
as if mere ropes
could restrain
the reality
of warfare;
scratches covered,
upholstery repaired,
bullet holes patched
a new coat
of paint
and public relations:
a showroom finish
pretty
as a picture;
but what lies
beneath
speaks …
of the war
we don’t discuss,
the war
that wasn’t;
a conflict,
instead,
as if renaming
the violence
erases it;
as if it could be
glossed over –
as if a coat of paint
could ease the pain,
heal the suffering,
silence the voices,
stop the nightmares;

the very metal
cries out;
an agonized shriek
turn away!
there is nothing –
nothing to see here;
only the stains
of pain,
rage,
terror,
desperation:
the blood
and sweat
of kids
who smoked dope
and lusted
after girls
with flowers
in their hair
and peace signs
on their blouses,
the merciless damp,
the unyielding heat,
lurching through the sky,
dropped
into a foreign land
of greenly coiled
death;

kill
or be killed,
with milliseconds
to decide
who’s friend or foe;
the wrong choice
is everlasting,
for some lasting
to this very day;
the diseases,
distress,
guilt,
regret, resentment
and madness
hover over
their every moment

while we stand
unscathed,
unconcerned,
on this sunlit
August afternoon,
in this quiet field
surrounded
by the winged survivors
of those battles
from
not-so-long ago.

There are other
quiet fields,
filled with remnants
from battles
of not-so-long ago;
cold gray and silent
beneath this same
bright blue sky
no amount
of paint or plaster
can hide
the losses
they proclaim.

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About inklingscommunity

I am a struggling Christian, committed pacifist, near-obsessive recycler, incurable animal lover, inveterate tree-hugger; a nature mystic, a socialized introvert, an advocate for the vulnerable, an opponent of exploiters.
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