A note: Where I grew up in Wales, during the Cold War, the time for nukes to reach us from Moscow was supposed to be four minutes.
Within the upturned cerulean cup,
across the Wedgwood blue waves –
the milk-not-plain Chocolate Mountains.
Above, the bright October sun blinds us to
flashes of falling silver
dispensed from those brown-growling speedsters above.
We are too far to see
spiky gray instant clouds scattering
puthers of pulverized sand,
but the earth reports back to us
as shuddering ripples under our feet.
The bombing range is in use today.
It is night time now in another desert.
I wonder if Aleppo hears the gray jets’ approach –
do they carry on with their ecru lives
as do I, under these bombing runs,
wondering if they are in range,
knowing there is no place to hide,
like we carried on under the timescale
of the black cold war,
that four-minute range to white nuclear destruction –
not jet to hear, no future to hold
just gone in sunshine, releasing
the range of emotions we carried with us,
the thoughts and hopes we nevertheless hewed out
in our pastel lives.
But accidents happen within
the rainbow range of human possibilities;
a hop, a skip, a crimson heart beat,
a jumpy peach finger tip and we are all in range
of the friendly fire that
could rain down twenty miles too far west, upending
a Salton City day into the beige earth around us
and the cerulean cup above.