Magazine article WLA ; War, Literature and the Arts

Fire Fight: 1970 (Xuan Loc Province)

Magazine article WLA ; War, Literature and the Arts

Fire Fight: 1970 (Xuan Loc Province)

Article excerpt

-for Capt. Mike Doyle

The only tree left

after the tanks mowed them down

after the big fire to ma ke a lager

the only place to hide with the man

in your arms

bleeding on your chest

calling out something about home...

one tree

long and dead and full of termites

but safe if you could reach it

fall behind it crad ling the man bleeding

on you

his mouth at your ear saying home...

not hearing the voices

behind the guns

telling you it was your turn

to die

your XO calling, " Gunner, TROOPS"

but you knew it was coming

and pulled the dying man on top of you

feeling embarrassed un-heroic

so you turned him over and laid upon him

like a lover

covering your blood with his

and when it came the dead tree exploded

filling air and bodies with dead tree

then counting the seconds

before the command to reload

running across the fire of grease guns

and R PGs

the other skin and bone

burning through your shirt

something for doctors to separate

after it was over

after the shadows of the whirring blades

drifting over the jungle canopy

taking you to base camp and the other

to die one mile closer to home. …

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