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May 2016
There lies a picture on the mantle
of my grandfather, my step-father's
father, clad in U.S. Navy fatigues
and grinning slightly, almost a
smirk. The year is 1960-something
as he enlists for Vietnam and is
shipped overseas on the USS
Corral Sea to load sidewinders
into fighter planes that ignite and
****. It happens so fast.

It happened so fast. Two months
of time reduced to blinks and
minute-long visits. This house could
be cold as Mt. Meru's peak and I
would hardly notice. The brain has
ways of placing things on autopilot.

His life has come to pass and I am
left to wonder. I am not sure I ever
truly knew the man. I heard stories,
his helicopter shot down in Vietnam,
his E&E; north of the ** Chi Minh and
how he owned a gun shop on Main
St. in the town I came to call home
before it was my home. I cannot hear
his whispering, small wind of existence
sidewinding away from me and my
youthfulness. In small time I've come
to find life is meaningful if you take time
to make it so.

The day of his funeral is beautiful,
sunny and mild and full of breeze.
The gas tank of my mother's car is
close to empty and I am worried of
worldly things, will we make it and
when can we fill up again. 21 guns
gives my heart a needed beating.
For Grandpa Cliff
Christopher Hendrix
Written by
Christopher Hendrix  Blue Springs, Missouri
(Blue Springs, Missouri)   
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