We were all seventeen or eighteen. The jungles of Nam were waiting like dark visions in nightmare. You get to be close as soldiers more than brothers more than wives. The clearing was pretty the feeling of an opening in the dark trees of the jungle was a relief. Then the light faded eaten by some monster. The flowers of our youth ended in only a few minutes. The tracer bullets lined all the way to thier targets. The petals of our childhood fell like snow. The imprints of the carnage were indelible tattoos on our memories. Out ofsixty boys only five of us got out. the dreams of my life we're tainted red from that day. I visited the clearing a few years ago. wartime enemies turn into just people when the blood is dried and flowers grow on old battlefields. I knelt down and said a prayer. Not to an uncaring God but to my friends who lost their youth and futures in this jungle. For whom weeping tears was just not enough.