badges burning


that guy in Treasure of the Sierra Madre said
to Bogey, “we don’t need no stinking badges”.

said something like that when I threw a few
off a west coast cliff years ago.

remember the pride and the shame
holding hands in the same moment.

all those B52’s lined up wing to wing
and taking off in complete bedlam of threes.

every 45 minutes they roared their din
going out and coming in, flying deathwaves.

we leveled and left in sticky smoke bellow flames
our mark along the ho chi minh trail.

all those one square mile mission sectors
in north vietnam have forgotten now.

the jungles have returned there
but here they still burn now and then.



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