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Laos (a Corpsman's report)

It seems to me that the sweetish
foul odor of the jungle will stay
in my nostrils forever, or at least
until the day I die and join my buddies,
Consider these facts if you will:

Some 206 bones make up
the adult’s fragile frame, one
that a mortar shell can fragment
into twice that number.

An enemy’s partial remains
spread out in Laos’ jungle rot;
the rest hangs suspended
in dense growth among orchids.

Days later, we went out again,
in search of some of our own.
Again we passed
that shattered skeleton.

How quickly the forest
consumes this feast.
The man’s hollow skull,
stripped of flesh and hair,
looks small--like a monkey’s.

I wonder how it could have held
such powerful emotions:
dreams, and, no doubt—
desperate cunning.

Now its empty eye sockets
reflect none of that
as they stare at the rags
hanging in the tree canopy.

Some morbid prick considered
bagging the skull for a souvenir, but
then he turned away
and looked in the direction
of approaching small arms fire.
Seconds later, he too
gazed skyward with dying eyes.

Style / type: 
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this is excellent . It reminds me of the way my husband used to write. He was a Viet Nam Vet and was never the same when he came home


check out our chat room open to all 24/7

Is that 3.30am or 3.30pm (ie 15.30) and is that GMT?

[This is a duplicate account of Edna Sweetlove and been permanently suspended]

That war affected an entire generation. Truly sorry for your loss.

author comment

Duplicate entry quite by accident

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I have read many pieces from Vietnam Vets... done a lot of work with them as well.

Thanks for setting this out for all of us. War poetry is rare.

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it takes a lot of courage to relive actual events in conversations. Thanks again for reading and your work with vets.. Van.

author comment

Those who invade countries illegally must expect to pay the price. Sadly it is the cannon fodder who do so, not the politicians or generals.

PS What is a "corpsman"? Is that a wordplay upon "corpse"? If so, it's clever.

[This is a duplicate account of Edna Sweetlove and been permanently suspended]

However corpsmen were US Navy, and medics were US Army

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You got it right. Dandini.
My thanks to ye all. Happy Holidays. Van

author comment
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