Atomic War and the Baseball Championship At Stake

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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.

night game

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!

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I stared at lines

On the wooden floor

Wondering how deep

The grooves went.

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Sometimes they led us into the basement,

Turning the lights off:

I listened to breathing

In the black, damp air:

A multitude of moist

Nostrils inhaling




That night at the baseball game we were playing for the championship.

‘Everything depends on tonight’s effort,’ said the coach.


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