Christina A. Sharik

IDENTITY
(The In-Another-Country Vietnam Nurse)

She worked on the burn wards
or so I understand –
she soothed parched and cracking lips
far from that Asian land –
she comforted and calmed them
she sometimes held a hand-
the horror is still with her, or so I understand.
She says some don’t include her,
they don’t consider her a vet –
I shake my head and wonder
why this is so, and yet –
I shouldn’t be surprised
that some are so accepting
and some just can’t forget.
The men delivered to her ward
were seared inside the soul –
Someone’s son was one of those,
burned and sad, not whole.
Just a heartbeat from Vietnam,
she held Someone’s hand,
and Someone’s mother blessed her
– or so I understand.

Author’s Note: For the nurses and medical personnel in Japan, States and elsewhere during Nam. I wrote this for a nurse, but it applies to the medics and male personnel as well