My father folds himself

into a Plexiglas bubble

twenty thousand miles above the sea.

In his pocket two photographs,

one of my mother, one of me,

talismans against the wump-wump

of explosions, the rattle of shrapnel

hitting his plane.

He locks his thumbs on the Browning,

swings it three hundred sixty degrees.

See how the bullets shine

on their way to their targets?

Enemy planes drop from the sky

with screams that die

only when silenced by the sea.

For the rest of his life my father

screams in his sleep.

He swears he can’t remember his dreams.

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