Joe McKibben, guarding the bomb tower, Trinity, July 16, 1945

Tonight the desert sky is dark.
To many clouds for stars.
The rain looks gone.
The drips off the tower are bad enough.

Why it needs guarding I'll never know.
A spy would have to be mad,
in this rough country,
to slide on his belly with a camera
over rocks and thistles,
avoid the rattlesnakes
and scorpions.

I can't help thinking it'll fall,
and we'll find it works
better than we expected.
Turned to nothing.

It's strangely intimate here,
with these men
becoming friends,
sitting beneath
the biggest bomb
the world has ever seen.

Oppenheimer's been and gone,
climbed the wet metal tower,
all its hundred feet,
checked our handy work,
patted it like a pet.

Bernard Sullivan © 1995

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