The Little Girl In Vietnam


Sirens rang,
Everywhere around the small town.
Agent Orange, contained in barrels,
Were sprayed from helicopters,
As plumes, clouds with wings, rose like a Pegasus of smoke
Storming like a stallion, the wilderness
Caught in a frenzy, unfolding
In the anarchy of an alien landing.
And all the while there were people,
Running zig-zag, cutting across
Each other, and amidst this debacle
One girl ran as fast as she could, to ride a Pegasus of her own,
As radiant as the constellation she became,
To the generations after, defoliating to a chemical agent,
As she made a pact in her heart, to defeat
The monster chimera – a fusion of two herbicides –
And stood like biblical Daniel, who faced the lion
Inside a pit. And that pebble of yellow sand,
Rose to conquer dominions of consciences, lit with an amber flame,
Decomposing grief, as one picture
Stood her time, as the prize scalp of yellow journalism,
When millions of cells of defiant yellow skin,
Became as indiscreet as the full moon,
Transmuting in a matter of seconds,
To become the perfect dystopian muse.
A shot that captured the transparency
Of naked human misery, which
Like the radiant Vietnamese sun,
Still burns local consciences. It seems, even now,
The war is too soon to forget.

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