5. To the Stars Through Difficulty: HC Palmer

— Yet, no one could tend the flames
of war when a boy replayed his short life
as Quantrill’s bullet traversed his brain

& no one tended the slave, drowning
in a night crossing for Leavenworth,
nor the farmer near the Ville of Cold Blood

(where talk of coal-fire rekindles tough times)
& none the young pilot from Chanute,
his name chiseled in black granite.

Aspera indeed.

— HC Palmer

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