this piece is especially poignant for me....because I know a bit of the heartache.....and minds and bodies that came home mangled from that war...that wasn't a war at all....   and I lost many friends, and many classmates....in nam...

but, the nightmares....the horrors left with those that made it back home....  we (in the US) all know of those...

- Sonya -

 

1968

by Michael Draga

I close my eyes and taste the acrid air
Smell the wasted foul soil
Feel the bitter loneness
I try not to look at the lifeless bodies
Green camo and pajamaed black clad
I can feel the dirt in my skin
Encrusted
That rolls muddied with my sweat
I remember not having showered for weeks
Clean sheets are a luxury lost
The place words are a mystic fantasy land
They ring
Da Nang, Dong Ha, Hue, and Quang Tri
We are boys who never had a chance to play
Never had a transisition from study hall to medivac
Some of us went from the prom to the grave
Even those there, were those of us
Who came back with scars
Without sight or limb
Or minds that stayed sane
But as boys we learned
We learned to hate
We learned of unknown evil
That we never knew each of us possesed
We learned of an unremorseful knowledge of killing
No, of murder
Like the night on a killing team
When we heard a baby cry
Then we heard the bullet whine
Then we  heard the silent nothing
Each of us were guilty
Equally
Alone
We  were the bad guys I tell my son
We were wrong
We were evil
Forgive us
Close your eyes and taste the death
Close your eyes in tear
Forgive us
Forgive me.

 

 

 *be my guest*

Credits and reserves.
Copyright 1999 Michigan, Sonya Reid. All rights reserved.
On behalf of Michael Draga.