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Monday, November 21, 2005


by Paul Hostovsky

The army spokesman
explaining the use
of the diminutive
cluster bombs
by American forces
in every war since Vietnam
says bomblets are small
shaped charges
that fall to earth
on tiny parachutes
and are capable of penetrating steel
of up to five inches thick
and are used for attacking
armored vehicles
and troop concentrations,
bunkers and other
dispersed targets.
It's their diminutive size, he says,
and bright color
when they alight unexploded
and sit in a field
or a meadow
or a backyard,
that makes them intriguing
to passersby,
especially children,
and gives them their name.

Paul Hostovsky has recent work in Spoon River Poetry Review, Poet Lore, ByLine, Switched-on Gutenburg, New Delta Review, Alimentum, White Pelican Review, FRiGG and others. He works in Boston as an interpreter for the deaf.