Colonel Tibbets,Trinian Airforce base, August 9, 1945

The tarmac is tropics hot.
The smell of oil and rubber.
Planes arrive
others leave,
every minute,
the noise is one long thunder.
Word has come, the Indianapolis,
the ship that brought the bomb,
was sunk after leaving here,
and hundreds of survivors,
in the water for days,
clumped together
paddling, in life jackets,
were taken, one by one, by circling sharks.

Although it's two days early,
and our schedule was for the 11th,
the weather's set to worsen,
we'll go today.
Washington have left it to us, corporal,
Drop the second bomb.

The sooner the better.

And, in Tokyo, just gaining details
of the mess at Hiroshima,
the avenue for negotiations closes
as the Russians sniff Japan's loss
and declare war, claiming territory,
no longer intermediaries.
The Japanese want one thing,
one condition only,
to keep the Emperor,
but the US wants the surrender unconditional.
The Japanese struggle for an answer,
both amongst themselves,
and how to deliver it.

The bomber leaves Trinian,
heading for Nagasaki.

Bernard Sullivan © 1995

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