A Veteran’s Reflection

Memory grows old, 

yet the pictures remain,

shadows of a time so long ago, 

sights and smells,

corruption in the very air, 

black smoke rising,

a sacrifice to the gods of war and greed.

In the village, 

youngsters run around half naked,

old mama sans, squatting in the doorways,

lips red from chewing betel nuts, 

skin, brown like leather.

Young girls, 

their Ao dai’s fluttering in the breeze,

arms wrapped around their love, 

flying down on their scooters, 

while others, seek love

selling themselves,

to lines of fresh faced youth, 

lost souls, seeking comfort, if briefly.

As the sun dips into the west, 

in brilliant reds and oranges,

as the stars begin to peek out,

the sounds of war permeate the air,

in the darkness, death lurks,

the reaper making his rounds,

the cries of the dead go unheard


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