Practice makes perfect nightmares

By Art Elser

I need practice dropping smoke grenades.
I can’t seem to get closer than twenty-five
or thirty meters to my target.

I see a tiny, straw-colored, thatched hut
in a peaceful valley near some rice paddies.
I’ll use the hut as a target. I pull a grenade
from the rack and feel its weight in my hand.
I hold it out the window,
line up, pull the pin,
turn, count, drop.

I bend my little plane around to watch
how close it lands to the hut.
I see it float

down gracefully,

trailing a ribbon

of gray-white smoke.

Horrified, I see it go
through the roof.
What have I done?
Are there children?
The hut burns.

I wake from nightmares,
daymares crying,
grieving

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Categories: Issue 5, Poetry | 1 Comment

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One thought on “Practice makes perfect nightmares

  1. Bret Norwood

    A powerful little poem. And what a great title.

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