Nancy L. Meek


I should have paid more attention
So many years ago.
But I just didn’t want to listen.
I just didn’t want to know.

The conflict was finally over
And I didn’t give a damn
‘Bout all your new-found buddies
When you spoke of Vietnam.

I didn’t want to listen then
To things that happened there.
“What good would it do?” I asked
To your sad and distant stare.

I said, “Why can’t you let it rest?
Just forget about it now.
You’re back home in the USA.
It’s all over anyhow.”

You clammed up tight and went to bed
As I swept the kitchen floor.
I thought ‘twas only just the wind
When I heard the slamming door.

When morning came, I saw you there
Just staring at your gun.
Oh, Lord, I thought, not again!
What’s done is done is done!

“Dwelling on it ain’t gonna help, you know,
And all that drinkin’ neither!
Why don’t you just take a walk
And give me a little breather!”

Without a word, you started for the door
Then turned to me as if to speak.
I said, “Well? What’s the matter now?
You’ve been acting strange all week!”

You just shrugged your shoulders, turning.
I didn’t notice the door.
How slowly it closed that day…
How you turned, looking back once more.

I should have noticed the look in your eyes
When I glanced back at you.
Turning away, I didn’t notice
That you had taken your bullets too.

The “Heart and Pen” Trilogy by Nancy L. Meek

Part 1: Unanswered Questions
Part 2: Like a Thief in the Night
Part 3: Regrets