owned the atomic age. They were young and handsome
in their bow ties, courting the Cold War and principles of fission,
the absolute of a scientific solution.
Shaved and shined, sporting bright wives and blond children,
grinding out reports and chain smoking,
our fathers owned the atom and were young and handsome
in their bow ties, boarding planes for Washington.
Bridge club, cocktails, school board meetings,
whole-body counts, contamination, secret-keeping—
owned them, aged but never changed them
in their bow ties. Even dying,
trusting Science to save them. It betrayed them.