Extract from A Book of Vietnam "War" Poetry
Four-star General and
What glory for a warlord fagged out on old days?
--Only nonsensical rows of flushing ribbons.
Only salutes and dues and tokens
Can rub out the thorny terror of his yore.
Still more boring chores; still more whores galore.
The rites of rank salve ferocious brain bustles.
At night, in the dim light, our hero bleats,
And his finger flounces Bible leafs.
What anodyne can we divine to quell his pinings?
Hour sessions housed in the halls of dream teams?
Whisky sours to whist away the wildish traits of his ways?
A tryst, with kisses and caresses, to temper his distress?
“…Old soldiers never die; they only fade away….”
Let him “fade away” through the spectre of his bitterness and hate.
23 August 1996