VVAW: Vietnam Veterans Against the War
VVAW Home
About VVAW
Contact Us
Membership
Commentary
Image Gallery
Upcoming Events
Vet Resources
VVAW Store
THE VETERAN
FAQ


Donate
THE VETERAN

Page 17

<< 16. On Veterans Day, Acknowledge Grief as Well as Service18. VA Health Care Presentation >>

A Tidy Battlefield (poem)

By Paul Hellweg

[Printer-Friendly Version]

When Sergeant Burns had his arm blown off,
someone picked it up and placed it on his litter.
Say what you like about our tactics in the 'Nam,
but we always kept a tidy battlefield, we weren't ones to leave the odd arm or leg
just lying around.

Intestines spilling out, skull cap gone AWOL,
nothing we couldn't manage,
nothing we couldn't gather.
Tagging and bagging, cursing and gagging,
we did our best to honor our pledge,
leave no one behind, not even a foot.

A lifetime of sleepless nights later,
I wish we'd been as diligent
with all the unexploded ordnance
we left behind,
land mines, bombs, artillery shells,
and those M79 grenades I fired
into tracer-laced darkness,
then walked away the next day,
leaving them in paddy muck,
undetonated,
no return address,
no expiration date.

– Paul Hellweg

<< 16. On Veterans Day, Acknowledge Grief as Well as Service18. VA Health Care Presentation >>



(Do you have comments or suggestions for this web site? Please let us know.)