Remembering Vietnam

February 3, 2008
By Stephanie Smith, Cornelius, NC

Today, they pulled us,
Out of school,
Brought us into the gym,
And said, “Boys join the pool!”

Put your name in,
When you turn eighteen,
For a chance to enlist,
A hero you’ll be seen!

I got the letter,
In the mail,
It read, boy you’ve been chosen,
Too late to bail.

Say goodbye to the family,
And pack your bags,
Say mother I’ll miss you,
While I’m serving the flag.

Hamlet of Ap Bac is where,
One of our first battles is held,
Though Vietnam lost 80,
Only 3 of ours have felled.

I can’t pull the trigger,
What would Mother say,
If I called her and said,
I killed 3 today.

But I know I must do it,
As my duty calls,
So I will shoot for my life,
And hope I don’t fall.

I hear the explosion,
Before it hits me,
My mind is in pieces,
Though I hope not literally.

Agent Orange is sprayed,
From military planes,
Killing herbs all around,
And causing enemy bloodstain,

When their camps are exposed,
As the plants fall dead,
They can no longer ambush us,
So they suffer more bloodshed.

Wearing black boots,
And carrying guns,
As we hiked o’er regions,
Through moons and through suns.

Finally, Finally, the war is over,
We’ve neither won, nor lost,
Fighting countries,
We’ve crossed,

I am intact,
Minus a leg and an arm,
From the giant explosion,
That caused me much harm.

We are back home,
We were not missed,
Nor welcomed back,
Without a diss.

I sit here now, with my children’s children,
Telling them stories,
And hoping they wouldn’t,
Find it too gory,

As I think about,
Their happy life now,
I wonder what it would be like,
Had I not bowed,

And said, yes I will do it,
If you really need me,
So that my grandchildren,
Might have life easy.

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