Mortars were blowing gobbets out of the ground
Behind me, and off my left shoulder, near the moon,
Rifles were flashing with muted pops.
I flogged the jeep, shrilling through the rutted mire,
Flying out through twilight tunnels
Lined with faces lifted from the evening meal,
Silhouettes in doorways,
Sullen faces flicked by cooking fires.
The dog. . . He came from the bushes,
Running suddenly, low to the ground
Under the wheels, jarring the jeep once twice,
And the eyes,
Decades have dulled the mortars
And stamped out the bang of rifles
And blanched the faces of people
Glowering beside their fires.
But the dog never dims. That dying dog. . .
Still screaming and screaming behind me in the roadway.