Ann Chiappetta

Making meaningful connections with others through writing

new poem for NaPoWriMo

| Filed under Poem

Lost Something along the Way

By Ann Chiappetta

 

Youth yearns for action

The best soldiers eighteen to twenty one

Because that’s the way to make ‘em.

 

Things were different back then

Molded and forsaken,

Sent to serve

 

Jetted to another continent

Touching down in a humid foreign hell

Splotches of Olive drab upon shades of green

Toe tags and body bags

Shades of sorrow buried

With ordinance and trash

 

Dangerous to feel, so don’t

 

No safety — well maybe

Caught in a reprieve of minutes,

in beer cans and tokes

Brotherhood in chaos

 

Metal birds carry them

Innocence drained

With the fluids

flowing out onto the deck plates

In the teeth of fear

Feed the guns, starve the soul

 

Welcome to Vietnam says the pilot

 

Heat, terror and cold fire

Burn indelibly

Birthing specialties

Like alcoholism, addiction

mental illness

Homecoming meant shunning

Insomnia,

Welcoming darkness

Homelessness

Ending it all

 

They were once

The boys of summer who could smile

Love and trust

And who

Lost something along the way.

 

2014

Dedicated to Vietnam combat veterans

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