A War Poem

Vietnam War
Seriously injured by shrapnel grenades planted in a booby trapped Viet Cong propaganda stall, a U.S. soldier awaits evacuation from Vietnamese jungle by ambulance helicopter being summoned by a radio operator behind him on Dec. 5, 1965. The soldier was attempting to tear down a Viet Cong bamboo structure used to dispense propaganda when two M 79 grenades planted in one of the poles exploded in his face. (AP Photo/Horst Faas)

Upon the wound, the bandage rests
Blindfolding the blood soaked knee,
From morphine and flies alike

While the eyes they shoot glances
At where smoke plumes go up
Holding the pathology of tunnel vision,

That like the barrel of a gun
Becomes your own keyhole to another world
The wound sees another wound
Pain prolonged, meets counter-pain

There are no antidotes to forget
Or forgive; pain, when expressed, looks
A lot like a trigger, exploding.

Loaded on bane, a soldier detonates his gun,
Targets are like scarecrows to the sniper
Sitting pretty in plain sight.

And the pints of blood spilled
On either side, they fertilize the earth
Where all kinds of microorganisms gather.
Decay is business as usual.

Bones, they hide the marrow, from where
Everything had begun. Now they stand as fossils
Of a son of this nation who had bid adieu,

To the fanfare of a trumpeting gunshot,
Ushering in a slap of percussion.

Sunlight pierces a lone rib cage.