Copyright © 1996 James M. Hopkins
Second Cycle - Waiting
Reading the poets of World War I,
waiting in VietNam.
Notice the same shaky light of the flares
and the fields where we fought lying shell-shocked and bare
at An Loc and the Somme.
Far away - distant machinegun fire,
a grenade sounds a dim, mournful thud,
the soft rumbles and bumps the artillery makes
and hell for those where the shellfire rakes
fields of grass - to blood.
They are killing us here - But slow - slow -
death came much faster then;
killed in the jungles, grasping at hope,
killed by the numbers, or barely afloat
at Akaba and Tay Ninh.
Image: "Troop Truck", oil on canvas, J.M.Hopkins, 1990