Friday, September 18, 2015

If - A Poem of Remembrance for those brave souls still out there

By David Roth
©18 September, 2015
In Honor and Memory of those who went off to serve
But didn’t come Home

If somehow by the grace of God
you came home…

On 8 of March in ‘sixty-five
The Ninth Marine Brigade arrived
An ‘expeditionary’ Force

You came boots dry on China Beach
Just south, Da Nang within your reach
Did anyone survive? Is there one yet alive?

Thirty-five Thousand “Few and Proud”
Their M-14’s and jungle shroud,
Wade through the most surreal crowd
of tourists snapping pictures
while Vietnamese girls string leis
on the symbols of the eve of destruction?

If somehow by the grace of God
you came home…

to see the long black wall
most frightening of all
your name is chiseled there.

 It’s not there in the typical way
Of fingers smudged in charcoal gray
No, there’s no hint of closure,
Nothing you can take away
See, the book says you’re still missing

If it matters, really matters
That you finally made it home
But there’s no one who remembers
But the writer of this tome
Or that thirty years ago they shouted
“Baby killer!” “Go away!”

If things might have been different
From that shower of orange Tox,
If they’d looked a little harder, little longer
If you could see your wife and son from
Outside this flag draped box.

If somehow by the grace of God
you came home…

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