A Poem:

Thirteen vessels met out in the ocean;
One Russian; the rest flew Stars and Stripes unfurled.
Aboard the sub, three Russians brought a motion
To decide if they were now to end the world.
Two of the men had decided to
Send forth with haste their lethal cargo.
Perhaps they thought “we’ll bury you”,
Or else, instead, of the U.S. embargo.
The other man, called Arkhipov,
Faced Apocalypse with equanimity.
He dared to hold the others off,
And kept the three from unanimity.
People may cite the leadership of
Kruschev and Dobrynin; of R and JFK.
But there are those who say ‘twas Arkhipov
Whose levelheaded thinking saved the day.

Well, that’s one version of the history, at any rate. Perhaps I have romanticized the story of Vasili Arkhipov too much. Few know the truth of the matter, but I follow a proud tradition and claim poetic license as a cover for my inaccuracies. But it’s a very interesting event and I encourage you to read about it and make of it what you will. 

1 Comment

  1. Wow. Terrific poem.I only had to look at my mom's eyes when she mentioned that time and how close we were to a nuclear war. Really fascinating story.

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