“B53 Elegy” by Ann K. Schwader

The day that they dismantled Armageddon,
We wiped our brows & drew a righteous breath
To see contentions that the Cold War fed on
Now cooled another few degrees from death.

Nine megatons of bunker-busting madness
Had joined a rusted Curtain – & that Wall
Which cost the West so many decades’ sadness
Through budget overruns before its fall.

We passed the pipe of self-congratulation,
& pounded plowshares till our eardrums rang,
Assuming kudos from a grateful nation
While letting threats beyond these skies go hang.

Meanwhile, in bleaker reaches of the Kuiper
Untouched by any treaty ever drawn,
One hunk of rock as harmless as a viper
Acquires its target Earth & barrels on.


Ann K. Schwader’s
most recent collection of speculative poems is Twisted in Dream (Hippocampus Press 2011). Her previous collection Wild Hunt of the Stars (Sam’s Dot 2010) was a Bram Stoker Award Finalist. She lives & writes in suburban Colorado.

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