(Con Thien, Fall '67) Rain. Rain like you've never seen. In fact, it's raining so hard you can't see. It's been raining like this for nearly three weeks. Your skin is drawn, puckered and white. Your feet are swollen, rotten and bleeding from emersion foot, inside your jungle boots. You're cold. You've never felt this cold before. In fact, you're freezing your ass off. Your roof is your steel helmet, your walls the rubber poncho around your shoulders. You're hungry. All you think about is being warm and dry, and eating. You've been scrounging in the old trash pit for discardcd C-rats. No resupply. Helicopters can't fly in this shit. No helicopters, no food and, if you're wounded, no medevacs. Your hole is full of water. You have to bail it out several times a day with your helmet. You stand in water, sit in water, sleep in water. The sound of rain pounding on your helmet is driving you crazy. You're sick. You have a cold with a deep painful cough. You have diarrhea and the listening post tonight. You're exhausted. You sit in your hole in water up to your waist. You piss in your pants, what difference does it make, and for a few seconds you feel warm. You're a Marine. What in hell did you expect? Remember, In Case Of Rain The War Will Not Be Held In The Auditorium. Yeah, no shit.

copyright © 1992 by John Musgrave, from his book "On Snipers, Laughter and Death: Vietnam Poems," all rights reserved.