Butler Pennsylvania 33

After a Bad Dream

Looking out an oblong cellar window
I watched mercenaries that night
swarming through our streets,
heard tank cleats chewing asphalt,
listened to planes strafing,
heard bombs squealing down at us,
heels thumping on porches,
saw black-gloved fists pounding:
while in fitful sleep
fear raged inside me
defying all defenses.

Awake now, from struggle uncoiled,
I lay shooing the dream
by asking myself what trucks were saying
while driving down steep Main Street hill
breaking the night silence by throttling—
prolonging it even,
slower, ever slower it seemed,
each intoning drawn-out drum rolls,
upbeat in triumph I mused,
as if each were entering
some long-sought-for, sung-about town.

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