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Dec 2018
Man

Started as a baby who watched killing on TV.
Whose childhood was Uncle Sam and the ROTC.

Took turns being cowboy and Indian, finger guns
Hunting with dad, rifles and handguns
But nothing could prepare him for the way that blood runs
From the lips of a friend

He left at 18
Couldnโ€™t seem to grow a beard.
Didnโ€™t matter when he was covered in jungle mud from ear to ear.

Kool Aid and biscuits
It sounded like a dream
Living indoors.
Working on machines.

But what the cargo brought back
Demanded to be seen

Bags upon bags hoisted on backs
Swung around like jump ropes
Among the soldierโ€™s jumping jacks

Every beating moment a guilt-filled flashback

The blood from the lips of an enemy or friend
Reddening the mud, trickled to no end
A gun on his side
Who was fighting who?
The roles were unclear
Muddied and hazy, orange and dark blue

No need for TV. The warโ€™s in his mind.
Engraved in his eyelids.
Pace, panic, grind

Is he a man? Can he ever grow old?
If his life is just one story that keeps getting told

Child.

Man.
Nam.

- Vietnam
atlast
Written by
atlast  17/F/Bay Area
(17/F/Bay Area)   
316
   Frank DeRose
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