Augustus

Nam

52 years ago
through the scope
I saw Charlie's head blow,
no friggin joke.

Minutes later another
feelings I tried to smother
They were only teens
armed simply with carbines.

Guilt to self disdain
that day half my unit slain
My God was I to blame
payback for young lives claimed?

As I boarded the Huey
the M16 slipped from my hand
My mind went screwy
They put me on a C 131Samaritan

I burned through my last pay
Jack Daniels was my crutch
Wup de dee week in the VA,
Uncle Sam, thanks very much.

It's a Chinook. He looks familiar
Sabatier was his name.
Where ya get that picture?
Metals? He didn't give a fig 'bout fame.

Kind of messed up like me. Drank.
But he had the smarts for school
Piles of dead really stank.
He saw children's blood in pools.

Yea, we were in Cambodia.
Who's asking this time?
Bunch killed in the eastern area.
Brother can you spare a dime.

 


Augustus / Seasons hospice, Houston TX / May 2017

 

 



Comments8

  • WriteBeLight

    Excellent work Augustus! You will stir many a soul with this one. You brought out the true grit and grime that is war and its impact on young men and women.

    • Augustus

      Glad you read it that way. Thanks

    • Rajkumar

      I admire you Augustus

      • Augustus

        Was not my personal experience. Did research on Vietnam era aircraft and weapons, and Cambodia controversy. Thanks.

      • Tony36

        Great write, and great tribute to all that fought

        • Augustus

          Thanks Tony. Hope all is well on the farm.

          • Tony36

            Welcome, all goes well just wish I could keep the cows from tearing down the fence all the time

          • swingline

            My best friend died in Nam . U.S. Marines . Came home in a coffin . Told not to open for view . I tried to join the Army , was 4-f . Didn't want anyone who was allergic to tress . Draft number selected was 316 so I was never called . I appreciate what all our soldiers went through , agent orange , nightmares , anxiety attack , the disillusionment . The war crime of invading Cambodia and the super secret excursions into Laos , certainly a blemish upon the honor of our men . I will always remember the pain and anguish of a vet telling me about having to shoot a six year old because you never know when they are booby-trapped with a bomb and they are told to go to the Americans for candy . So they giddily run up only to be gunned down . I could see the terror and reget in his eyes forever .

            • Augustus

              You are reminding me that I wanted to incorporate agent orange in the poem but forgot. Thanks for the heartfelt comment. Sorry for your loss.

            • P.H.Rose

              This is so very good
              Augustus.....even to
              A Brit....

              • Augustus

                Thanks brother across the pond.

                • P.H.Rose

                  My absolute pleasure

                • Michael Edwards

                  Here's another Brit who's moved by it - it could be any battle zone - great write Augustus.

                  • Augustus

                    Seems over thousands of years we would learn. What a blood thirsty lot we are. (Man) thanks

                  • Goldfinch60

                    Very good write. The war in Vietnam was atrocious, so many people killed or maybe even worse cruelly wounded in both body and mind.

                    • Augustus

                      Exactly. Now let me see, what country can we go to war with. Thanks.

                    • ron parrish aka wordman

                      happy memorial day my friend,glad i missed nam,but i can feel the pain it brought

                      • Augustus

                        I spent it state side tucked away in an Air Force training facility not seeing action. I have a buddy who was there. He described children dying in his arms, having been shot.



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