And Me – © 1970

A poem about dying in combat. Vietnam became a part of my life in 8th Grade. I vividly remember when they told one of my classmates that her brother had been killed there. They told her during lunch. Right there in the Cafeteria, in front of everybody. She didn’t take the news well.

I never saw myself as a Hero. I was always the guy who gets killed. I hoped I could die proudly.

And Me – © 1970

A poem now of war and death.
Of gasping that last dying breath.
Of falling down on broken sod,
And meeting your Creator, God.

I sit here waiting all alone.
I think of my girl way back home.
Of flowers, trees, and birds that sing.
And of the old church bell that dings,
And dongs, and tolls the call,
“There is a death. Come one and all.”
My thoughts now wander back to when
I was a child, to be again!
I’d give an arm, an eye, a leg!
Why must I sit here Lord, and beg,
That death will come swiftly to me,
So that no pain my mind might see?

The bushes moved, I fear it’s come!
Yes, I am here, come all, come one!
Come now and kill this forlorn soul
And deal to me my ghastly dole
Of metal death which I have dealt,
But up til now, none have I felt.

Kill me now, and kill me fast!
I do not want the pain to last!
The bullets fly, I hide my head
And wonder when I will be dead.
The fighting even more abides!
I feel a body at my side!
I turn quick to meet my end,
But see the body of my friend.
Another now is by my side.
They did not run! They did not hide!
How can I then sit here and die?
I grab his gun, and make my cry,
“Attack!”

I get up now to make my run!
Bullets of death spew from the gun,
Which now I hold in trembling hand.
I’ll fight the fight! I’ll make the stand!
Bullets rip through my tired flesh.
But every bullet makes me fresh.
To kill the more, my enemy,
And make them now my wrath to see!
They killed my friend! They shot him dead!
They made this cold hard earth his bed!

My wrath now ends, my body broken.
My mind now bends, the words are spoken,
“We have won!” The ground is red.
Yes, look upon the gruesome dead
They sought to save my life, so great.
Instead of one, they lost lives eight.
Among those silent dead I see
Six gallant men, my friend, and me.

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