Faye Sizemore

LAST WORDS

There he was lying in bed, a once giant of a man
Fading like the roses someone had left on his stand
The old veteran’s sharp eyes were slowly dimming
Not much longer for him to be judged among the living
The old soldier’s clock was slowly winding down
He glanced up just then, seeing my concerned frown
This decorated veteran of Korea and Vietnam’s fray
Tonight he knew he was going to have his last say

“Listen here,” he said, “death just don’t scare me
Was with the First when we drove the enemy from Seoul
The battles they were hot and the weather it was cold
I been up Old Baldy and I fought on Pork Chop Hill, see
I been to the Khe San, and the white sands of Quang Tri
Where I’m going ain’t half as scary as where I’ve been
Not like running and duckin’ bullets at Long Binh
Yes, and I’ve been to the terrible walled city of Hue
Let me tell you, there, we almost got blown away
I can honestly say to you we were really put to the test
If the truth be known, I would really welcome some rest
Listen, Friend, I don’t want, nor do I need any of your tears
For I haven’t slept a night of peace in nearly forty years”

Then, with that so said, the old soldier closed his eyes in final sleep
And, for all of his years of torment, I hung my head and I did weep.