Offloading the Wounded


The clamshell doors of a MEDEVAC jet
unlock slowly in the December wind.
They could be palms forever half-opened,
like some diffident window of Vermeer.
Airmen rise and unfasten a litter.
Gauze marks the re-knit finesse of crushed bone,
the right hand poised as if to finger paint.

Ramstein Air Base, Germany

Jeffrey Alfier