The Fortunate Son
by H. Palmer Hall
*From the Periphery: Poems and Essays*
Chili Verde Press
For Lewis B. Puller
d. May 11, 1994 from a festering wound
They shouldn't call it suicide,
this self-inflicted gunshot wound-
the trigger squeezed so many years ago-
day by day, the fragment slipped inside.
His name won't be chiseled on the Wall.
He won't reflect your face for you.
He doesn't qualify. He missed
the cut-off date. He died too late.
Lewis Puller? You'll find him on the Wall.
He's always been there. Chesty's son,
Marine lieutenant, tripped a mine, lost
his legs, made his hero daddy proud, wrote
a book, held firm the lives of all of us,
but, finally, could not hold his own.