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courting the sun
  after a cool June
  in my vintner's garden
close to the southern border

carefully sipping
  his latest selection
    a good year
    you can taste it

looking out from the hill
  across the river valley
  I listen to his children
  proudly telling how
only yesterday
  they filled 50 sandbags
just in case

the deafening roar
  of an interceptor jet
  splits the air
    just for seconds
    leaves my wine glass
three helicopters
  slash their way south
  and come back later

over the winding road
  on the next hill
  the last tank of the column

we can hear
  not far away
      over there
  sounds like explosions

we enjoy the sun

Helmut opens another one
  of his treasured bottles
  and tells me
  what he will do
  if They come across
   he is a good hunter
and an excellent shot

I sip the clear wine
  watch how the sunlight
  lends its brilliance
  to the half-filled glass  

I feel a little bit
  like Humphrey Bogart
  in the wrong movie.
Near the Slovene border in southern Austria at the beginning of the war in former Yugoslavia, 1992.

— The End —