Each broken body, each face drawn with pain
takes a piece of your heart.
Pleading eyes are desperate for assurance.
“Will I be all right? “
“Yes. ” Is a lie.
Gaping wounds leave gaping holes in your soul.
Endless faces without names, with endless pain.
Smells of seared flesh and human blood
cannot be scrubbed off.
Thumping helicopter blades bring more wounded.
And more…and more…and more.
Each death leaves the weight of terrible knowledge.
You were with him, now he is gone, and his family
still believes he is alive.
To each need you give…and give…and give.
Until there is nothing left of you.
Then you try…and try…and try.
Giving from where there is nothing left,
a dry wasteland forms in your heart.
Your body came home, your spirit stayed.
Hating the place, you ache desperately to go back.
Going through the motions of years, surviving,
remembering, pain is heavy around your heart.
“Where are they now? “
Large, dark innocent eyes of wounded children
float through dreams, betrayed, accusing
You need to touch the pain, but recoil in fear.
If you feel, it could destroy you.
A Vietnam Women’s Memorial brings pride.
You take the risk, you step forward.
Stop. Be still and listen a moment.
Do you hear…? It’s “The guys!! “
The same arms that reached in need extend now in love.
The voices that cried in pain call out now in joy.
“Welcome home, sister!”
“I’m home, I made it, thanks for seeing me through!”
Thank you for taking care of me!”
“I didn’t forget!”
“Look at my children…and my grandchildren!! They’re yours, too!
You saved my life!!”
See how we return to you the pieces of your heart?
With my utmost repect to my sister Vietnam Veterans
by Jerry Ewen