Gone within the twinkling eye,
that long ago before.
A mothers tears were turned to dust,
as sons went off to war.
Laughter echoed from the men,
in pools of blood they knelt.
Their mercies stolen from their youth,
and madness all they felt.
Life was leaving them behind,
at home there lived their love.
A dust off carried wounds away,
ascending with the dove.
They cried alone in inky night,
and carried what they will.
The jungle ate its fill of flesh,
and there they wander still.
I recently read Tim O’Brien’s book “The Things they Carried” and have seldom felt so affected by one man’s story. His honesty is tempered by his own realization that the memories he still carries are the things his own mind and heart chose to photograph inside, and are the scenes which, at any instant, return to him. I know I was fortunate not to have been drafted at that time, and I will always respect those who, like Tim, did their duty for their country, never knowing the cost. I offer these words in deepest respect to them, and all those who served, to let them know they are not alone, that the memory of their service is one of the things we still carry.