Robert Archambeau (Illinois, USA): "Brightness Falls"


Remembering another war: for Dubravka in Belgrade, April 1999

"Brightness falls from the air,"
wrote Thomas Nashe, in his poem
on the plague. For "air" read "hair,"

that's what he meant: the glossless
stuff of age, of death.
Someone had blundered:

the mis-set type, the blotted word,
the error stirred a dead-dull line
to breath and strange truth-ringing life.

And when our bombers flew south
and I tapped out hurried, guilty words
to warn you that they came,

your message scrolled up on my screen
"Thank you for warring."
For "warring" read "warning,"

I know, I know. But that night
of error, of fear-stirred death,
a brightness fell from all your air.

© Robert Archambeau 2007

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