november 1-2, 1963


tapped into conversations
between the general staff,
we listened to the chaos
of the bloody coup d’etat
in the ritual dying
of the cut off palace guard
and the manic hide and seek
of the hunt for two brothers,
president diệm and ‘ông nhu’,
betrayed now both by ourselves
and those trusted generals
baying down their escape trail
along the bloody darkness
to that final fatal dawn


but we didn’t recognize
the tangled karmic pivot,
as the circling wheel of fate
on this steamy tropic day
turned their little local war
toward our owned holocaust
of soon on-rushed fire snd blood
claiming, at least, another
three or four or was it five
more millions in the slaughter
plus our near sixty thousand
wasted sacrificial dead,
beyond those two captured on
that sàigòn sunday sunrise


hearing the assassin call in
the two brothers’ epitaph,
‘they resisted, 
there was a struggle,
they are dead’
we missed that it also might
presage our own end as well


Thought this might be appropriate for the day, the 55th anniversary of the Diem coup that opened the door for all that followed…a piece from my ’snapshots from the edge of a war’

 John Buquoi
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