Love Song for Vietnam

Caitlin Maude
1941 – 1982


They said we had no shame
celebrating our love
with this ruin all around us.

the hawk gyring in the air
awaiting the smell of death.

they said these were our own people
this, the funeral of our people.
that we should at least be solemn,
even if we were not sorrowful.

but we,
we’re much like the weather,
especially the sun.
we don’t pay too much heed
to the goings-on, lately.

each thing rots with the sun’s heat
once it’s dead

and it wasn’t we who killed them
but yourselves.

we might’ve stayed on the slaughter-field
but the sorrowful faces of the soldiers
started us laughing
and we took a soft place by the river.

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