Tom in CopenhagenTom liked to place his daughters
in Scandinavian paintings. Pastels
in the ruddy cheeks of angels
became the blush on Katie’s face,
and the lustered reds & metals
of the carousel renewed each winter
with children. Tom was watching
citizens for the CIA, visiting museums.
He told his daughters to eat
the chocolate, admire the chinaware
& cobblestone, to know this is empire
& they are part of it: the horses
& bicycles crowding histories
every street corner, this is to be charmed-by
& unearthed: even the old city bombed
by the British during occupation.
Danes told Tom about the Shellhus,
the gestapo headquarters missed
by a precision airstrike the resistance
begged for, and the French school
mistakenly hit, & again & again
because it’s easy to follow mistakes.
87 children died in three separate passes.
This before skyscapers, when all
the buildings were low & the sidewalk
cleaved its passengers like waves
of rainfall as the planes kept flying.
Four stories up. That close.
Tom knew those planes had pilots.
Tom had flown himself, remembered
distance and speed: how the men
must have seen the faces, and known.