"How can I be bitter?"
the fence-rows rolling with the land;
the last full measure of Ohio
measured by fence-rows compressing,
though parallel above receding hills,
the mixed hues of damp Spring greenery.
"I never knew him to be angry or afraid."
that is, assured of a providence
moving within the accidental turnings
of his life, he moved with certainty
among the farmyard's familiar disorders
and occasionally outward toward Dayton.
"He glanced for an instant at his friends--
for only an instant--and then he jumped."
riding through Dayton on Saturday night
making the rounds, block by block,
the car radio marking time--
the evening blush of neon blooming
into damp city air, the blue
clarity of mercury-lamp arcades;
four of them slouched in a Chevrolet
exhaust the evening, waiting for something to happen.
°In April of 1968 Douglas Dickey was awarded the
Congressional Medal of Honor posthumously for throwing
himself on a hand grenade during an engagement with the
enemy in Viet Nam.