Richard D. Preston

SILENCE OF THE LAMBS

IWVPA Double Tap Award for War Poetry
Awarded: November 30, 2004
America bundled up her daughters
And bundled up her native sons
Then sent them off to a war
That she thought could well be won

Eighteen young years of age
Still wet behind the ears
Trained to survive their time
Unconscious of their fears

Mothers cried openly at home
Fathers hearts were broke
Wide-eyed brothers and sisters
In secret often spoke

While the children of America
Waged war in Vietnam
Families prayed in silence
While protesters shouted harm

The famous ignored the sorrow
While Miss Fonda shamed the land
Yet the boys kept on fighting
In a blood soaked Vietnam

Thirteen months of hell
The dues a Marine must pay
To gain his ticket to freedom
And return to the American way

Many a son came to war
And many came to die
But none of us so it seems
Ever made it home alive

America had bundled up her daughters
And bundled up her native sons
Then trod them swiftly underfoot
Lest the darkness should greet the sun

The drum and fife fell silent
The streets were empty and bare
America buried the children of war
But she couldn’t forget their stare

No, she couldn’t forget that stare