Christina A. Sharik

(For my friend, Bob Lynn)

They’d been tromping
up the mountain –
trudging – tired and hot –
until it got so bad
he felt he couldn’t take
another step –
he had to stop.

The medic came up
and said we have
to leave you here
for while,
but we’ll be back.

So he found an outcropping
with some water underneath
and huddled inside –
just a perfect little place and size
to catch his breath and hide…

He figured if the NVA came,
he could get a few before
they got him,
and he wasn’t afraid.

He said he’s more afraid now
now that he’s ill,
than he ever was,
when he was left behind
on a jungle hill.

One thing he needs to
remember is that
we’re here…
We will never leave
him all alone…
The patrol came back
for him, then –
we are his patrol now,
and we will be here for him
now that he’s home.

Bob Lynn Montage