In sleep, in confusion, in the depths of shame, the good deeds a man has done before defend him.
from the Bhagavad-Gita, quoted by Oppenheimer.

In his office the black phone rings.
The mission's complete Robert.
It's done then.
Yes, a great success, thanks to you.
Well General, I've had my doubts.
I've never doubted you for a minute Robert,
you know that.
Thanks for your call General,
I'll pass on the word.

At first there is some relief.
They'll surrender.
The war will soon be over.
He tells his brother Frank, in a nearby room.
It's done. It worked.
The newspapers carry the news.
Oppenheimer files papers, writes letters,
telephones associates.

In the evening he lies awake.
Kitty sleeps. The night is warm.
There are no casualty numbers.
There is a breeze.
I've never been to Hiroshima.
An army truck tugs the distance.
Perhaps I'm no longer a good man.
This outweighs the things
I've done and considered good.

Bernard Sullivan © 1995

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