Nancy L. Meek


IWVPA Double Tap Award for War Poetry: August 13, 2010
Awarded: August 13, 2010
Back to the place he never left,
a year of bombs… of blood… and death,
what for… what for… inside his brain
since stepping off his ship or plane,
moving men… and arms… and brass
to find the Gooks… and kill their ass,
to free those folk we think we know,
or just because WE made them go
to war… to war… a land of pain,
a year of dust… and monsoon rain,
bloodied children… and rats galore
till WE demand they, “STOP THE WAR!
BRING THEM HOME!”… OUR naive kids,
leaping from those chopper skids
to face whatever lay ahead…
silent fields… or comrades dead,
or someone’s son… bleeding… crying,
not believing he’s really dying,
as Charlie Cong…that slippery foe
slinks into the undergrowth,
slithering back into the bush,
rocking bamboo… green and lush
till all is quiet on the front
except the heartbeat of the grunt,
who hates that place he never leaves…
that tour of HELL… so he believes
as WE seek HEAVEN, sending more
(including daughters) off to WAR,
as somewhere on a rumpled bed
a gray-haired soldier grabs his head,
then begs the air to, “STOP THE WAR!”
That one WE did not bargain for.