Fraser Sutherland

is a Canadian poet, editor, and lexicographer based in Toronto. His most recent poetry collection is Manual for Emigrants (Tightrope Books.)

Note from the poet:

As a poem, Plattsburgh: 1973 is documentary in nature, but with superimposed timelines and imagery. While staying at a motel in Plattsburgh, New York in 1973 I was watching the movie Tora! Tora! Tora! on TV. I heard the roar of planes taking off, and assumed they were B52s from the nearby airbase. I've since been credibly informed that I must have been hearing the FB-111A, since the B52s were phased out in 1971. The folks at Pearl Harbor of course heard neither.

While watching the movie, I happened to glance at a magazine someone had left around that showed a grisly photo of a woman who'd bled to death after a botched abortion. Somehow the woman's death and the Pearl Harbor attack coalesced in my mind.