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
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,