Mark I. Kirkmeyer

A JOYOUS PARADE

It’s been thirty days and one
Since we left the desert sun

It caused this warrior to tear
The words and acts of cheer

Rome left us at the end of the runway
Hot and stuffy, pain we had ours to pay

Dublin left us on the plane at the gate
What awaits us in the States

La Guardia, one hundred forty weapons
I’ll stay on board to keep an eye on

They welcomed us home
From the distant land where we’d roam

Free pizza, drinks and a phone call
A smile crossed my face shocking all

It’s been thirty days and one
I’m able to stand but it’s not fun

I get to watch the parade
A celebration made

If they really want to honor us
Why are we making the fuss?

Why don’t we sit on our ass
And watch them walk pass

Desert uniform is sterile, unit patch and tapes
Civilians acting like apes

I’m not some celebrity
Don’t make a big deal about me.

They lead the march the others
My Vietnam brothers

Apes don’t greet them with a cheer
non-responsive rather than a leer

I walk out to them in pain
leaning heavily on my cane

Welcome home big brother
I say to the other

We clench each others hands
A cheer sounds from the stands

I finish the walk with these men
Who lead the way for me again

Three lead to cheer and stare
The Black Flag, my cane and a chair

Tears filled battle hardened eyes
They hear “Welcome Home” cries.

Trouble I got into
Because I marched with you

Couldn’t march with my unit
With Vietnam Vets I could do it.

I can’t march in step
So I fit in the Disabled Vets