COVID-19 Passes The Vietnam War

and when the virus
constricted air from over
58,220 lungs, no one
came to the door
informing us of death’s
arrival, no uniformed soldier’s
solemn words to comfort
ventilator’s failure to save
lives, this war of
no bullets, no answers
to the endless quest
for vaccine’s hopeful solace

we look to blame
those who cannot contain
this invisble reaper, as
if this were one
person’s fault, as if
we could just drop
a nuke and make
it all go away
instead we walk by
black granite names, mourning
the many more, expiring
with each passing day

Born During Vietnam

I was born in 1972
when the drafted were
fragging officers, rolling
grenades under cots,
because going on patrol
was pointless.

Raised by teachers who
listened to Joan Baez,
had us play earth ball. That
world was better than agent
orange cancer, napalm blasts,
M-16 bullets and exit wounds.

They spoke of peace,
harmony, we held hands
and sang so many songs.
This land is made for
you and me, and it’s
alright to cry.

In the closet I still saw
my dad’s green Marine hat
that he wore on Veteran’s Day.
We never spoke about the war,
what to say to a ten-year old
kid about sand bags, and
hearing loss?

But he took me to the
memorial, we touched
names, our dark shadows
together in the wall.