Poem 19, June 19 to be read down–not across after line break

Chester Johnson, Poem Eleven

Thanks for the fruit basket.                      the Twin Towers
I appreciate the off                                      brought down
of dinner.                                                       by a new enemy.

It’s Father’s Day.                                           Two planes,
I’m waiting for my daughter                    direct hits
to come from Tennessee.                          exploding.

I’ll eat a banana                                            I watched
before she comes,                                        smoke–
and to answer your question:                  saw

Was I ever afraid?                                        people
I was trained                                                 abandon
not to have feelings.                                   ship,

Yes, just like a doctor                                 f
as an intern learns                                     a
to deal with death.                                      l

Kamikazes                                                    l
were a staring                                              i
of death in the face.                                   n

I didn’t think                                                g
I’d feel that tight                                         ahead
gut-wrenching                                            of that

determination                                             terrible swift
to live again                                                  sword. I’ll eat
until I watched                                            that banana now.