VVAW: Vietnam Veterans Against the War
About VVAW
Contact Us
Image Gallery
Upcoming Events
Vet Resources
VVAW Store


Page 38
Download PDF of this full issue: v38n2.pdf (20.2 MB)

<< 37. The Democrats' Favorite General39. brief encounter (poem) >>

PTSD Blues (poem)

By Louis A. Griffiths

[Printer-Friendly Version]

Flying in a huey chopper
Just above tree line
I feel my heart beating fast
I hear the engine whine

I light another cigarette
My M16 in hand
I hear someone holler
"Five minutes till we land!"

M60's fire forward
left and right and down
I hope to fuck no one is there
When we finally hit the ground

I wake up from my dream
A reading lamp in hand
The piece of shit won't fire
I think it must be jammed

Then I find I'm in my bed
No reason I should hide
Then I stare into the dark
And see the eyes that died

Doc, Pigpen and Poet
My card playing friends
On February 23
Our card games had to end

I am the only one
Who got to walk away
Almost 40 years ago
Seems like yesterday

They say revenge is sweet
I guess I got us some
It didn't taste like honey
It felt just fucking numb

A pop hisses
Up into the night
Once the thing pops
There will be light

Rising right in front of me
One knee upon the ground
A man about my age
Hope I chambered a round

Hand grenade in his hand
I've got him in my sight
Just cuz this is war
Still don't make it right

His eyes are looking right at me
I wonder what he thinks
I wonder does he have a wife
I wonder does he drink

My finger squeezes tighter
My weapon it responds
I see a cloud of pink
The light in his eyes is gone

Those eyes are everywhere
I see them all the time
I see those eyes in your eyes
In the mirror they are mine

You'll never know how many times
I have to see him die
The thing that hurts the most
It took 30 years to cry

I wish I could forget it all
No matter how I try
The only thing I hope is true
I'll forget when I finally die

— Louis A. Griffiths
April 4,1968-May 1, 1970

<< 37. The Democrats' Favorite General39. brief encounter (poem) >>