Gary Jacobson


I’m not good at small talk
Since in Nam I walked the walk
Grown uncomfortable with trite conversation trivial
That casual talk to weightier things inconsequential.
Life is serious. It’s not that I mean to be antisocial
I just don’t like making inane pleasantries artificial.

Neither can I tolerate mundane prevaricating lies
For I was once force-fed a proliferation of lies
There it made my head swim…in that fractious war
Lied to, too many times before
Borne witness to great evil’s galore
Yet my saving grace, great good in the brotherhood.

My mind’s still unraveling that distorting past confusing
Disheartening memories ingrained disillusioning
Dwelling on yesterday’s raging historical
Foisted on a young boy, now seriously analytical
For I’ve seen the dead man smile
Walked along the lip of death in Nam’s lonesome mile.

I’m still burdened with the loss of boyhood innocence
Ripped from a wearied soul’s spiritual essence
The frayed somber talk of killing-fields logical
Harvesting memories from grunts quite typical;
Dwelling on shadowed remembrance sweet-and-sour,
Envisioning men plotting to kill me, hour after hour.

So I don’t do well with small talk banter
No trifling small group chatter
Prattling on with insignificant palaver
For I’m still sorting out times this old grunt disgruntled
Worn out by depressing times disappointed
Borne to the jaded spirit deceived.

Remember now and always
War’s castaways
Brave brothers now at rest in heaven’s bower
Beside Him on that celestial tower
Harbor great guilt
That I’m not beside them. The spirit within does wilt.

So maybe too serious, I’m not good at small talk
Since I walked that dreadful long walk!
Seems like just yesterday I escaped death
Still solemnly honoring brothers, grave with every breath
Recalling hazardous life one foot in darkened grave
Remembering dangerous life un-frivolous, with lives to save.