Atomic Bombs
by Michael Brett

Atomic bombs are shadow cats
That move invisibly amongst us, like angels.

They purr in Geiger counters, grin Cheshire
In ministerial assurances at the despatch box
Of their necessity
In repelling rats, mice and those in national dress
And olive uniforms that our embassies
Advise you not to visit without inoculations:
Physical, political,
Religious.

British Intelligence briefings say
Plutonium cats are mouthless as shadows,
Self-contained.

Their tails are semaphores, each designed
To ride above the surface of clouds, and
Swing history round like hoses.

Newspapers stroke us with rumours
That they are striding from country to country,
Littering in old boiler suits at airports;
Planning always planning;

And that the final act is inevitable.

Yet, strangely, they are all treasured, loved,
Like film star engagement rings, as much as
Tsarist, oligarch indulgencies,
Like gold Ferraris, Faberge eggs.

Each cat is flagged with diamonds, set
On a Hadrian's Wall inside a Christmas paperweight
Blizzarded with silver. The idea is
It will be forever like this.


~
Copyright © 2011 - Michael Brett
Published: 1/27/11   ·  Author's Page   ·  Next Poem