24 March 2017

DAK TO - a poem

Atop a beaucoup hellish hill

inside a searing, dusty

NVA trenched and tunneled

mortar-riddled outpost

He gets posted for MacArthur

Out of water, no supplies

Six UH medevacs shot down

Trying to get to 2/503

Add to the carnage

Westmorland’s friendly fire

Blowing away the backup

Turning medics into oxen fodder

In the middle of it all,

During a November chill

–  sleep deprived  –

Joe Turner tried a nap

while body bags

piled higher right next to him

almost toppled over.

At least they were warm. 

Dawn on Tuesday rose

permanent in Joe’s memory

Rotting flesh and napalm etched

yet still more hours pass

before airlift to Support Base 4

Shipped from there to stateside

Trussed and restrained

screaming scenes from Bosch, Lovecraft and Dante

Finally scoped out by

exempted med school interns

The pukes sure knew how

to diagnose Joe’s inability to adapt

“He’s schizophrenic”

they say

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