Friday, November 11, 2016

ELEGY FOR A VET


There was this young guy, Hood - I don't remember, maybe never heard, his first name - who rotated from Nam to our unit in Germany.  He had the sweetest face, and the saddest eyes, and I had a little crush on him, but I stepped way back because that just couldn't happen.  Hood was a loner, and I never saw him hanging with anyone.  He was a SP4, combat, airborne, and got busted down the ranks to Private, and then was gone.  I don't know what happened to him.  This is a fiction about all the sweet guys who got ruined.


ELEGY FOR A VET

The idiots marched him
from the paddies
to the peaks

from the jungle
to the forest

from the cold war
to the tropics
and back again.

Anymore –
he didn’t give a shit.

Beyond anywhere
he watched death
smudge everything
even the air.

Worlds collide
Flesh panics

Shoots smack with the whores in Saigon
drops through smooth and dark

ultimate airborne

falling
forever
forever
falling

Passed out drunk
curiously warm
in a snow bank
in Montana

That’s where they found him

That’s where he died.



Here's another one:

Counting Cadence

War

American as apple pie

G.I. - government issue

Your soul might belong to God,
but your ass belongs to the US Army.


Hood, sweet young sad eyed G.I.

Pissed off
emptied out

Stretched too thin for fuck you
just wants left alone

Rotated
outta Nam
to cool your heels
do your time
low profile

Deutschland

but

worlds collide
would collide
no matter where
no matter what

Ghost kid
had that look
scared everybody

Could have dissolved
no energy to him
occupied so little space hardly there

but

Couldn’t stay straight
couldn’t abide

pissed off
emptied out
fuck you
insubordinate

Fuck You

no matter who
no matter where

Universal Code of Military Justice

got him

Count Cadence!  Count:

Spec 4
busted
PFC
busted
Private
busted
court martial
stockade
gone

Bring it on down:
airborne
ranger
combat
sad eyed


gone

Hood
sweet young
G.I.
Hood

U.S. Army

made him a ghost

disappeared him off
the face of their
spit shined
brass buckled
highly starched
cold
war
universe

Sweet young sad eyed G.I.

gone.



1 comment:

  1. Once again your words shoot through to the honest and raw. Thank you for your service(s).

    ReplyDelete