From Vietnam Veterans Against the War,

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The Ducks On the Hoi An River (poem)

By rg cantalupo

drift with the currents
pecking at insects
along the shallow reeds—
floating so gently
on the river's rippling surface—

oh, how I wish
I could glide so lightly
on the currents,
instead of forever
swimming upstream—

almost 50 years now
since mortars fell
and green tracers
sought out men
hiding here in the reeds—

beneath the surface,
silver minnows flash
and disappear—so like
the ones I caught
for bait as a boy—

and so, so many,
wriggling their tiny bodies
like earthworms
through the thick,
green water—

and now I see my face
in the ripples, gently
appearing in the failing
light before drifting back
to a stiller green—

so that I am, and I am not,
flickering in and out of light,
and time—

—rg cantalupo

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