Extract from A Book of Vietnam "War" Poetry
Another CA (Combat Assault)
Another C.A. today,
And all we can do is pray.
Hands touch at our taut guts,
And there’s little we can say.
Some vomit up curds and wheys,
For there is no other way.
Some cradle, hunched up in fright,
At sight of the sun’s first ray.
Some jump in place to please nerves;
This might be our last day.
Choppers in three’s hover low,
Green-clad fellows feel their foe.
Twigs and leaves twirl ‘bout at will,
Pilots’ stares so cold and still.
Clock-clockings announce the dawn;
At day’s end souls to mourn.
Flying numbed to the L.Z.,
There’s a zone without one tree.
Down we go with jumps to ground,
Is there contact to be found?
A run with gun to tree line,
No reason yet to swell fine.
Bushes eyed for A.K.’s nose,
Our hearts in fear feel frozed.
Low-bent bodies rush to hide;
Is this the last one to be tried?
A bullet in one’s own self?
Thoughts of those who fly to help.
Safe rock’s reached and down I go;
C.A.’s “cold”; no sound from foe.
10 August 1996