David R. “Poppa” Alexander

FIND YOUR OWN WAY HOME

In a muddy field in the middle of Vietnam,
Pinned down by the enemy in this land of the damned;
Only eighteen of us left to fight
Not one sole cares about our plight.

The slightest movement draws fire
Nothing to do but lay here in this mire.
Water Buffalo dung floating on the water
Charlie can sense the slaughter.

Called for help from the powers that be
Just a little help was our only plea:
Just a stone’s throw from the shelter of a bank of mud,
But not a sole to come to our rescue in this flood.

Then as we were low as we thought we could be
The radio squawk had a sobering effect on me.
But the news came and about the LZ we called home:
“Can’t help, and the choppers are flying, you’ll have to find your own way home”

Cursing and swearing at the commanders and others
We now had just us on to which to depend, my brothers.
The VC had not been able to advance
Finally we took our last chance.

Crawling in the slime, mud and rain
We made it to safety before after us they came.
Safety consisted of a hill of mud from which we had the higher ground.
With a little luck and superior firepower we knocked Charlie down.

They broke contact and left us alone
Now all we had to do was find our own way home.
In the middle of a moonless night
Praying that tonight we wouldn’t again have to fight.

Six hours later we found the perimeter
Once inside and secure
I was summoned to the commander’s tent
Once there and found him warm and dry and I was about spent.

“Good job Lt.” he said, “I knew you could find your own way home.”
“You see, when left to your own devices, you guys didn’t roam.”
My platoon sergeant looked at me, and I at him at last
And we both told the commander to kiss our BRASS.