Fall 1993 • Vol. XV No. 4 PoetryOctober 1, 1993 |

Waterloo

Overlooking the battlefield, on that grassy ridge where the ladies and gentlemen of Brussels brought their servants and picnic hampers and card tables to watch, you could smell the exploding gunpowder and hear shrieks in the distance, you could see the brightly uniformed bodies of men running and firing and clashing their swords and falling, and I became ill. I couldn't help it. My hands trembled, my mouth trembled, I retched and vomited over a picnic table, I tried to drink from a bottle of champagne and spilled it down the front of my shirt, I soiled my trousers. It was unbelievable, atrocious. I felt worse than I can say. I went from table to table, seeking comfort or reassurance, I don't know what. The ladies in colorful dresses and huge hats, the gentlemen in brilliantly tailored suits were talking and smiling, looking through their opera glasses, pointing here and there to explain tactics and indicate the approach of fresh legions on either side. But they paid no attention to

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Overlooking the battlefield, on that grassy ridge where the ladies and gentlemen of Brussels brought their servants and picnic hampers and card tables to watch, you could smell the exploding […]

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