Nancy L. Meek


Gut-wrenching photos drag me screaming and kicking
To a place I do not want to go
To the memories of a veteran of the Vietnam War,
But still I am compelled to know,

To experience the echo of his pain,
If only for a very brief moment in time,
Trapped by the lure of his music
And his unique style of rhyme.

Papered-words cannot replace the anguish,
The yearning for his inner peace
Nor can they make him forget the tragic nature
Of the human spirit which does not cease.

They serve to remind, lest any should forget the horrors,
The atrocities so viciously performed on another.
They serve to heal, for in the telling thereof,
There is release for this American brother.

My throat swells shut at his descriptions of fear,
Hope, courage, and this soldier’s undying will to survive,
At his ability to still retain an unrelenting love of goodness
And prayers of tranquility for every man alive.

I gazed into his mirror of the pit of Hell,
Feeling I shall never fully return.
With the teeth of his heart, he whittled his gun into a pen,
Etching his memories upon the page and my mind, forever to burn.

He speaks of the battle between good and evil,
And the wonder of the eagle as he flies.
Very little escapes the eye of the predator
And he, too, does not know if tonight he dies.

There are differences, however, between eagle and man.
There is no compassion, regret nor guilt at the end of the claw,
No spirit beneath his regal feathers
Battling with the concept of heavenly law.

Give to Caesar that which belongs to Caesar,
Ye warriors of the western world,
And with all of your mental power and physical being,
Seek out, attack and destroy … wherever you are hurled;

But remember, the true victors in Hell’s arena
Are those who, in the aftermath, still know
That killing is wrong, but still necessary,
As long as mortal man rules and evil winds blow.

Without God, there is no desire for peace, love nor forgiveness,
There is no conscience, no guilt nor remorse,
No hand reaching out to close the eyelids of the mortally wounded,
These things are from a heavenly source.

The physical war in Nam has ended, but the spiritual war will go on;
The battle between good and evil will reign supreme
Until the windows of Heaven are opened wide,
When the light at the end of the tunnel is real and not a dream.

In the beginning, darkness was upon the face of the deep
Then came the Light which lives through you.
Some are doomed to the pit of Hell, some will live in Heaven forever;
But you don’t want to live forever, or do you?

Written in response to my web site, “Vietnam Picture Tour” by a lovely lady whom I’ve never met… I am flattered.

Gary Jacobson