Earlier that day in school
We were told to ‘duck and cover.’
The teacher explained:
Those communists will soon lay waste
To the surrounding farmland and fields,
The blast will be as brilliant as the sun.
Do not look into it!
Charred flesh and animal remains will be
Driven by the force of the wind through the classroom windows.
Pray to god they do not launch multiple warheads:
Evaporating the dairy farms,
Tractor dealerships and pine forests.
You must, as one, kneel beneath your desks,
Noses pressed into the floor,
Knuckles clasped firmly behind your heads,
Under no circumstances open your eyes!
I stared at lines
On the wooden floor
Wondering how deep
The grooves went.
Sometimes they led us into the basement,
Turning the lights off:
I listened to breathing
In the black, damp air:
A multitude of moist
That night at the baseball game we were playing for the championship.
‘Everything depends on tonight’s effort,’ said the coach.