Gary Jacobson


To flee, or not to flee,
Was not my choice
For I really had no voice
But to Be…
Or Not To Be
That was the rub
Planted by Beelzebub
The birth of irritation
Chafing friction
Value systems bowing down to fiction
The specter of war harping on my mind
Killing a murderous bind
Fevered annoyance
The pressure of war’s ungodly alliance
That stays with you…
Forevermore haunting you.

When I answered the call
To be one with brother’s all
To win one for freedom
In tiny Vietnam
Oppressed by Communism
Impoverished barbarianism
Standing against America’s withering firepower
Foolishly facing indomitable air power
Everybody knew at a glance
They stood not a chance
These Vietnamese country bumpkins
Who’d fall before us like mannequins
Shock and awe laying them low
Their men like grasses we’d mow
Quick death to bestow…
Before war weapons mightily blow

I was a babe in the wood
Not yet experienced in mud and blood
I knew nothing of death
Knew not of fears hoary breath
For killing was not a thing I pondered
Of chilling terror never wondered
For I was just a boy
Spoiled by the good-life cloy
Till the day called to deploy
Gung-ho and naive
In America all-powerful I believe
Believing fancy words absurd
I’d not the bell heard
For war’d be over in a moment and a day
God would rend that awful fray
So soon I’d be home again to play…

But it was not to be!
For war was infamy
Horrible beyond description
Abandoned in painful dereliction
Though explain it I often try
To tell you, myself, just why
Mother’s forlornly cry
Girlfriends sigh
Angered at the great lie
Because their soldier’s die
Ingloriously in the mud
Covered in stinking blood
Nourishing some far away hill
Hungered ghosts passing still
Nightly haunting their comrades in arms
Carrying them back there to a world of harms.

This response was inspired by the poem, “To Flee or Not to Flee” ©Copyright December 2, 2006 by Nancy L. Meek