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Vietnam War Poetry

Depression has been kicking my ass recently, if it wasn’t obvious already by my normal political commentary having been replaced with long, introspective ramblings about love and sadness.

[Corey Booker is a Senator, and this is one of the few times I really wish I was still a resident of New Jersey. Oh, and apparently the shutdown is ending. Good week for Democrats.]

Here’s a poem that I didn’t write, but saved a long time ago and still like.

khe sanh rivers

by shotgunmessiah. Sep 16, 2003

 

sometimes when i remember how it was

I’m drinking cheap liquor from a tin cup I

had from the war and I can’t hold it

steady and it falls in the floor, spills out and

runs in the cracks in the wood and

 

it reminds me of that time in Khe Sanh when it

rained all day, pissing down in the muddy streamers

and collected in little pools and

wore tributaries in the mud and when it

stopped

 

there was a little girl skinny and naked with

just a rag wrapped around her waist and

she huddled in the waste and shit of the village

 

when I walked by she looked me with

these huge eyes driven deep in her face and

she held out her hand and said probably the only

word she knew “water” and again

“water” so I give some water in the tin cup I had

 

and she holds it and stares at her own big

brown eyes and then she crouches down

in the mud and carefully pours the water out

into the ground and flows in the rutted cracks

and makes little rivers

 

and when they ask me what it was like

I say “follow me” and take a cup and

fill it with water and

 

I go outside and pour it out in the ground

and they say “what does that mean” and I

point at the water trickling dirty through

the cracks and I say “that’s what it means”

“that’s what it’s about”

 

and they say I’m crazy and they

go away and leave me dripping water

on the cobblestones and laughing and

 

there was a little girl in Khe Sanh

who knew the truth even though

she was blown to hell the next day

 

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