April 14, 2009

Duck and Cover

by Paul Hellweg

I had lunch with Kumari today
and reminisced about my childhood,
how we had “duck and cover” drills
in grade school back in the 50's,
and we both got a good laugh
at the absurdity
of hiding under a desk
to save oneself
in a nuclear blast.

I should mention
that Kumari’s mother,
a 12-year-old schoolgirl
at the time,
survived Hiroshima,
otherwise the K. and I
wouldn’t have had lunch
today.

And I guess it’s always easier
to laugh at horror
than it is to go insane
embracing it,
anyway,
K. proposed that so many
people died at Hiroshima
and Nagasaki
because Japanese tables
are only a few inches high
and tens of thousands
must have perished
in nuclear holocaust
while attempting
to duck and cover
under tables
too short for anything
but the house cat.

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

Had to give this one considerable thought, because my reaction caught me off guard: "not supposed to laugh at this". But I did. Which is the point..... TJ

George Anderson said...

Recently watched Duck & Cover on YouTube and closely studied Hershey's Hiroshima. It must have been a terrifying time in the 1950s. Paul you've captured admirably the absurdity of the times.

George Anderson

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