James H. Smith


This war, they call Vietnam
Might be called the war of the one man soldier

My brothers at arms are closer than blood
But—Never too close I say

Today they are here
Tomorrow rotated or death has ripped them away

Why am I here? What have I done
To be ripped from family and friend?

For it is not only I whose life has been changed
But also those loved and who will love me until the end

My nights, long filled with unknown danger and fright
Her nights, sleepless, filled with unknowing and dread, the price she pay’s

I look out though eye’s that have seen too much
I bend beneath the shadows of death, my companions each day

Her days are made by the TV News, searching for a much loved face.
Yet, fear grips her heart as the names from the list of lost are read

I wrap my arms around, and hold her in my heart
3am as I sit and stare into the black jungle wall, with eyes blood red

3am, her arms are wrapped around her tear stained pillow
As she whispers then calls out my name

Two people lives, forever changed, older than years
Innocents lost, dreams put by the way, never again to be the same

But I worry most for her, what would happen
If perhaps, the day comes, that from this war I don’t return
Forever gone away

“Home Alone” ©Copyright by Norm Bergsma
This poem was inspired by the Painting “Home Alone”
©Copyright by Norm Bergsma
IWVPA Double Tap Award for War Poetry: January 25, 2008
Awarded: January 25, 2008