Extract from A Book of Vietnam "War" Poetry
“I’ve Got Sunshine on a
Medivac with blood-blotched pack,
From the sky in frenzied dive.
Heads upped high with thoughts aside,
Tried green stretcher for last ride.
“Rock of Ages” lades the air,
Greeny soldiers stooped in prayer.
Surgeons in tent stern and fast,
Joust with Death to let Life last.
Burnt green pants ripped off then thrown,
Steel pail brimmed with red-stained gown.
Spurts of blood dart at bright light,
Blood-soaked gauzes once quite white.
Pale face now fixed without life,
Dog tag snatched and sent to wife.
Plastic gray bag zipped and weighed,
Homeward jet: soon…slow…parade.
Doctors, nurses light up butts,
There’s some rest in Quonset huts.
Red guck hosed off chopper’s floor,
Snapping blades twirl round for more.
To my hootch the shout to march:
“Up and at it! F-O-R-W-A-R-D, ‘ARCH!”
Resigned to live, not to die,
I’m shrewd and spry through each eye.
In my head the dead man’s face,
Exhorts me not to act in haste.
Not with friends, I look about,
Noting some on Nature’s Lot.
In the dim of Mors and storms,
There’s a store of Earthly forms.
Wet tree leaves tint morning mist,
Verdant grass fonds in my fist.
Nature lures me ‘long its way,
My sunshine on a cloudy day.
1 October 1995