Pukapuka Books


Friday, June 11, 2010

Pukapuka Poem #21 'Nuclear Family' - Michael O'Leary

Nuclear Family – A fragment

In dreams I walked
            Through crowded, confused streets
            Where people, scurrying like rats
                                                on a sinking ship
            Ran in all directions towards survival

In dreams I moved
            Through a human fog
            It was my single purpose
            That kept me going, and
            Kept me from going insane,
            To find you and the child whom I love

When I saw you in the hall of mirrors
            Like all the other victims
                                                you radiated decay
            Your hair had shrivelled and gone grey overnight
            I held my arms out-stretched
            Hoping you and your child would embrace me
            But you turned away
                                                 and she ran to you, as if I were
                                                                                             a stranger

I picked up my gun
            And went outside where things weren’t quite
                                                                        so grim
(I mean this war has killed love
                        so what’s a pile of rotting bodies)
In my uniform, I watched the beauty of
                                                            another atomic flash
            A tank drove by
                        I jumped aboard
                        And we headed toward
            The war which can never be won!

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