The Death of the Ball Turret Gunner

From my mother’s sleep I fell into the State,
And I hunched in its belly till my wet fur froze.
Six miles from earth, loosed from its dream of life,
I woke to black flak and the nightmare fighters.
When I died they washed me out of the turret with a hose.

Randall Jarrell, "The Death of the Ball Turret Gunner" from The Complete Poems. Copyright © 1980 by Randall Jarrell. Reprinted by permission of Farrar, Straus and Giroux.
Source: The Complete Poems (Farrar Straus and Giroux, 1980)
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