Saigon '68


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74-year old grandfather. Served with IVS, Vietnam, 1968-69 in II Corps/III Corps. Police-fire-court reporter for Holyoke (MA) Transcript. Editor for GTE NW "Newsworthy" paper. PA Officer (DAE) fo  [+]

Image of Rendez-Vous, July 2019 issue
I have seen you, shell-shocked city,
Shimmer in the parachute flares
The day’s dust and exhaust glowing green
In the light of descending torches.
I have heard the wooden whooping
Of the gunship’s prop as it circles Districts 7 and 8,
Pouring down fire, every fourth round a tracer,
A blazing stream arching onto its target.
Then, emptied, it flies away, leaving the night in silence,
Save for the rustle of bamboo leaves.
I have watched as the flares rock gently to their firefly deaths,
Returning the night to blackness.
Darkness – soft as felt cloth, brittle as smoked glass.
Shattered by a single rifle shot – crisp as billiard balls striking.
17

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