As the earth circles tirelessly in its orbit, our part of the world begins to turn green again as old Man Winter loosens his grip on the warming land and retreats to his northern ice caves once more.

Birds’ songs, welcome and sweet, drift cheerily in through the open windows, accompanied by the fragrance of blooming lilacs and rose bushes. But, on this warm and pleasant spring day, another well-remembered scent begins to permeate the air. A neighbor has started the first barbecue of the season. The birds’ lilting homage to spring suddenly becomes a mournful dirge.

The window is quickly and firmly closed on the pleasant scent of blooming flowers as the now pungent odor mingles with the aroma of the flowers. The delicate bouquet of lilacs is overridden as the roar of phantom air strikes and the cloying stench of charred flesh haunt the breeze, along with the starkly altered lyrics of an old love song:

Spring is here!
Why doesn’t the breeze delight me?
Stars appear;
Why doesn’t the night invite me?
Maybe it’s because napalm is falling.
Tet is here I hear

Author’s Note: With apologies to the song, “Spring is Here”: Lyrics by Lorenz Hart, Music by Richard Rodgers