Gary Jacobson

RIDE INTO SHERWOOD

There were sixteen Hueys in flight line
Mine was bird number three
Flying in attack formation, lookin’ mighty fine
Sallied forth by military decree
For our ride into Sherwood
Always friendly Vietcong for to see…
You don’t expect to live forever, do you?
Charlie’s prepared a special welcome for you.

On our ride into green tangled Sherwood
Ride with nerves jangled tautly tense
Get control now son, best corral that changing mood
Said a veteran hovering over jungles darkened dense
In cacophonous quiet mid noise eerily abounding,
Ya gotta have all your wits about you, son
Mid rioting noise of rotors deafening
Where you can hardly hear yourself think
Dreaming of the world soon about you crumbling
Where infantrymen dance on life’s brink
All vestiges of life about them decomposing.

Sherwood’s just another fetid jungle
Where a pungent welcome’s spicy hot
To survive, better not this mission bungle
Don’t wanna leave bones rooted back in Sherwood to rot
Don’t stray too far, or that bullet with your name on it,
For the life of you… you’ve bought
Be ready to look everywhere at once,
For all goodtime Charlie has wrought
Look in front, up, down, and behind
In Charlie’s country home,
Don’t let Charlie Cong get your ASSets in a bind.

Best get yourself prepared on your ride into Sherwood
Remember to look up, for the sniper in the trees
Remember whatever might be… probably would
Leave your soul blowing in summer’s breeze
Remember as you step lively, to look down,
For the booby-trap tamped into the ground
Or you may never hear another sound
Keep watch with active eyes for angry men,
Men trying their best to put you down
Look left and right, remember… all round
For men bound and determined your immortal soul
Deep into Sherwood’s fertile ground to pound.

Come knock on Charlie Cong’s door…
Nestled in luxurious verdant jungle velour
Army door-to-door salesmen canvassing Sherwood
Boys dangerously armed to the teeth understood,
Hazards of polling outskirts of this neighborhood
Supported by Cobra gun ships Gattling mini-guns
Their blazing rockets razing raining fire
Artillery shells big as Buicks through air spun
“Search for effect” rounds meant to inspire
Passing with high-pitched whining just overhead,
Awesome sounds like the Cong’ve never seen
Than boys psyched up on the ride, more than angry,
Soldiers tough and ornery, downright lean and mean
Just killing machines, itchin’ for a fight
Find it this day… we just might!

Till my dying day I’ll remember Sherwood’s sound
Still to this sad-sack GI awful profound
That grinding pitch of rotor blades heard
The sights… the noise… the smell
Remember how we jumped and ran from that bird
Reminiscent of bats from living hell
Fighting with the brotherhood.
Still every day, till my dying day,
Takes me flying back to Sherwood
Once again caustic on my skin the heat of the fray.