David R. “Poppa” Alexander

FOUND: FRIEND

Headline: Found, Friend. Where has he been?
Story Follows: When ask the question, the man frowns and then swallows.

“I never knew I had him.” the fellow said.
“I sure though he was dead.
You see we knew each other only briefly
While both were in Vietnam.” he said gruffly.

“Oh, we spoke and nodded, as we would pass
Neither of us wanted to make a friendship that might not last.
So as days grew into months and our lives seem to intertwine
We came to know each other and respect the other as if by design.

I being from the country and he from the city
We had little in common it would seem to those so witty.
We learned to depend on each other as soldiers often do
‘Cause there is little else to depend on except for you.

We were moving across a bridge of a fashion
We had to move swiftly because our platoon needed help with a passion.
Joseph, as he insisted on being called
He was my RTO, and a good one as I recall.

Half way across the bridge a machine gun fired at the two of us
The last thing I heard was Joseph cuss.
The bridge was blown and we both fell into a ravine
By the time I came around, Medevac was loading Joseph, what a bloody scene.

Never heard another word from Joseph although I tried to find out
All I heard was he was sent to Da Nang and then there was no route.
Stayed my tour and others also were lost,
It’s not that you don’t care it’s to dwell on one was too much of a personal cost.

Seems that Joseph was shot in the chest
Sent to the world for healing and some much needed rest.
He has spent the last thirty some years
Searching the country for his former peers.

After reading the paper today
Found the address and phoned just to say,
I’m glad to know your are alright and this phone call won’t be the end.”
This story ends with the title, Found: Friend