Monday, April 10, 2017

Vietnam War Poetry: The Homesick Patrol

The Homesick Patrol by David Vancil

II Corps, Republic of Vietnam, 1969

One of my fingers hooked into the belt
loop of the guy leading me to a place
on a green map--six numbers that marked our
spot. While fat mosquitoes waltzed in my sweat,
a bitch-moon watched me move with an evil
eye. Behind me my sergeant counted on
me to get him home, clinging close. He glued
his ear to the hissing black radio
and stuck his mouth to the mouthpiece, ready
to report. I was the lieutenant. So
I practiced coordinates, while like a blind
man, I followed our unfamiliar host
down a well-worn trail, praying for quiet,
praying to walk on through the inky night.

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