In Time of Vietnam

Because I cannot see those others fighting
over the side of this same land, the world,
because their deaths, like facts, are put in writing,
their winding-sheets, the dumb typed pages, uncurled
and shaken out over the news – so neatly twirled
off glib tongues of the innocent reciting –
because I live where men through hell are hurled
with no time left at all for their delighting

in song, in thought, in music or in love –
I look about the day that is blood-swirled,
and blindly see men torn, hear metal biting
even in birdsong – and at every glance
because I cannot see them, look above,

and pray to God forgive my ignorance.

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