On Coming Home From Nam
She cried as he left
clinging to his Saint Christopher chaining around her neck
eyes kissing his as he pressed his face against the bus window for one last embrace.
He cried as he read her letter
clinging to his dreams dying in the important war
eyes waterfalling as he pressed his nose against her perfumed envelope for one last taste.
She cried when he came home
clinging to her prayers that the shrapnel had not been hers
eyes begging as the soldiers pressed the flag over the box and lowered it to its resting place.
END. J. Randall O'Brien
* * * *
Ode to Nam on the 40th Anniversary of its End
He came home from Nam
but never made it back.
I saw him last just before he left for the war.
We all celebrated his return
his presence being our only lack.
Glasses with cheers were raised repeatedly before
We noticed his eyes and long hair were with us
but not his mind.
After the party he walked to the local Vietnam Memorial
and killed himself real fine.
J. Randall O'Brien
February 20, 2015