From Vietnam Veterans Against the War,

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Remembrances (poem)

By rg cantalupo

I remember the scent of the lotus
blossoming under the bridge at

Trang Bang, more than the stench
of the bodies crumpled along the

bank. I remember Lonny waking
from a dream as he lay beside me

on a night listening-post, more than
his half-breaths as he bled out

waiting for the medevac to come.
I remember the leeches I burned off

my legs with a cigarette's ember,
more than the embers of the hootch

I burned with the angry flick of
my hand. If I could fill this body

that each day ferries me through
this world with only the moments

I love, these would be among them.
For my life isn't like a boat, or a river,

but these memories I carry inside me
as I tread upstream or downstream

toward tomorrow—these remembrances
I cherish more than the traumatic ones

that each day I must endeavor to forget.

—rg cantalupo (aka Ross Canton)

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