13 April, 2017

                                        O Vacuum 

Tham Piew Cave 24 November 2008photo by Willy Bach

I met a man
Told me his story
He had to look his children
And ours
In the eye
He was sketchy in parts
But remembered a place
Not far from Sài Gòn
They tested weapons
He wondered how
People could imagine
Weapons like these
Weapons and enemies
Need each other

He wondered how
To look his children
And ours
In the eye

One weapon
He remembered
They tested
Frightened its inventors
Too potent to use

One kilometre radius
Every cricket
Bird and mouse
Snake and dog
Dead still
Total kill

How could you look
Your children
In the eye

Dedicated to Phuong Le Duc

On 24 November 2008 I visited Tham Piew Cave, Xieng Khouang Province, Lao PDR for the fortieth anniversary of the USAF bombing, which killed 374 people, including many women and children. Some accounts suggest that the bomb used in this attack was a thermobaric, or fuel-air explosive bomb. They knew there was something unusual. The cave was too hot for rescue crews to enter the cave – they had to wait three days. When they entered the cave, it was a scene of horror.