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Calling Pluto

Karen Smith

After dark I call you up, 

just to hear the weather report, 

that the nights are drawing in now, 

and how much you paid 

for your latest pair of trousers. 

You’ll tell me the one about 

PLUTO, the giant pipeline rolling out 

under the Channel on a steel drum, 

how it kept the tanks fed 

for our boys on the continent, 

how the ice cream hut along the bay

was really a pump in disguise,

like those Ruperts that kept the Führer

guessing. And the Kamikaze who’d blaze

unswerving to the end, the enemy

you couldn’t help but admire. And I’ll 

sing you American Pie again, 

like that last night in the hospital,

however many times you try to die.