David R. “Poppa” Alexander


Along a dense jungle trail
Watching for the enemy: moving slow as a snail;
Careful not to make a sound,
When I caught a movement on the ground.

Slowly moving ahead one false move and we might be dead,
Creeping along nerves on edge and move, stop, listen to what is ahead.
Within twenty-five feet of the movement seen
The jungle is wet and very green.

When at once we recognized a dreadful moan
Careful, the enemy is tricky this was well known.
Another moan and a slight movement is seen
And there she is a Vietnamese teen.

A pretty girl scared to death
She would have run had she not been injured and out of breath
Crying because of her fear, not her pain
Set a perimeter to assure our security, so our help would not be in vain.

The medic checks the frightened girl as she begins to beg
As he discovers several cuts and a broken leg.
Our interpreter assures her as the medic sets the limb
Splints the leg and bandages her cuts as the light grows dim.

Through our interpreter she begins to explain
How the VC came into her village looking for grain.
When the village had been robbed and burned
Upon the women they suddenly turned.

She and her sister ran to escape
Knowing that to be caught the best would be rape.
They both knew the countryside well
But in their haste she had tripped and fell.

She sent her younger sister on and told her not to wait
Neither of them knowing but being caught they knew their fate.
We fashioned a litter of sorts
Taking the girl with us for her leg her weight would not support.

Not long until we were at her relatives’ village by a stream.
There we left her but not until she thanked us with a smile that seemed to gleam.
Just a short story of someone we met
But surly one we will never forget.

Sometimes a simple thing can make an impression
Acts of kindness can oft be a loving expression
Just another day that one would say nothing occurred
But who knows, we might have made a difference and that we would have preferred.