Colin F. Jones

AGENT ORANGE

They shed their leaves like prisoners shedding clothes,
Stark naked in the sun and heavy mist,
Bark peeled away from branches made for crows,
Ground cringing in the shade that did not exist.
The jungle wept where the poison had not reached,
Tears seeping deep into complexities of life,
Where liberated from the humid caverns breached,
The virus crept towards the new found light.
And men trod pathways through the toxic woods,
And lay among the crumpled vanquished leaf,
While insects crept away all wearing hoods,
And the warm sunlight became a common thief.
… And the years passed by before the silent Hell
Revealed its passion that no man could repel.