How much the colonel loved his granddaughters
you will never know.
                           Their laughter filled his black Mercedes
the way a flock of starlings might fill a single tree
with song.
              What he’d had to do that day, he’d done
with a troubled heart,
                            but now their laughter overwhelmed him
with such unarticulable love
                                    he could hardly
contain it
             and neither could the empathetic little bomb
in the engine,
                  which chose that moment
to burst through the hood with self-obliterating joy.