III.

Hill 352
17 October 1967 

Charlie dug in and holds a hill.
The hill is nondescript and has no name we can pronounce,
just a number.  Who cares?
Starve them out or let the flyboys
drop their napalm glory. But no.
We have to take it by force of arms

and legs and opened guts. It was impregnable,
but tell that to generals dreaming of another
star on collars or politicians in padded leather chairs
fearing the wrath of disillusioned voters.
We fought till water was a dream and choppers plummeted
like locusts from the sky exploding dreams.

We fought prone behind our own dead.
We cannot rest because the enemy is everywhere
crawling from his bunkers. Deafened, burned by our own artillery,
our Hell seems endless.  Lord, what have we done-
or failed to do – that we must suffer
here where only flies are victors?

 

 

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