House of the Tomato

If a woman wants to be a poet, she must dwell in the house of the tomato. -- Erica Jong

Regional website for the Wisconsin Fellowship of Poets, in partnership with the Reader's Loft.

GREEN BAY / NORTHEAST

Celebrating, sharing and inspiring poetry throughout Wisconsin.

Pantoum to Agent Orange

Pantoum to Agent Orange

He was “Leavin’ on a Jet Plane”

banana yellow Braniff,  

touchin’ down, Saigon in ‘69.   

No one moved a muscle to get up  

 

banana yellow Braniff, 

boots on the ground  

No one moved a muscle   

Silence -- men steppin’ out  

 

Boots on the ground  

Silence -- men steppin’ out

calendar countdown 365 

treading tropical soil

 

Hot, humid, stench of dying flesh.  

Decimated, defoliated,

inferno with infantry.  

Agent Orange, a red devil in the air.  

 

Decimated, defoliated, burned bare. 

Inhaled, Ingested. Unseen. Unknown. 

Agent Orange, a red devil in the air  --   

in grit, in dirt, invisible drift.  

 

Inhaled, Ingested. Unseen. Unknown.  

They’re two digit midgets, soon to be home

in grit, in dirt, invisible drift, 

A miracle to be alive

 

They’re two digit midgets, soon to be home

Inferno with infantry.  

A miracle to be alive

Returning to “the world”.

 

Life goes on, dark secret broods within,  

A symptom nearly missed

It’s a rare lymphoma, it must be fought   

Agent Orange, a red devil in the air   

 

dark secret broods within,

symptom nearly missed  

Six Chemos recruited to kill and desist 

Agent Orange, a red devil in the air   

deadly chemicals infused to seek a cure. 

 

Six Chemos infused to kill and desist, one is called

“The Red Devil” with its slow red drip 

deadly chemicals infused to secure a cure. 

Six chemos of chemicals, the internal war

 

“The Red Devil” it’s called, with a slow red drip 

rare lymphoma is fought and won

boots on the ground, touchin’ down

Agent Orange Meet THE Red Devil.

 

 

 

 

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