Quiet War

327 Infantry Veterans

327th Infantry

Quiet War

by Michael Clancy

Here’s a little short one for ya. I can’t remember what year for sure I wrote my poems. The only clues I have is that there were only 58 thousand 23 names on the Viet Nam Memorial Wall at the time and the reference to 18 years. That probably would be around 1985. Some of the things in this poem are outdated now, some may be erroneous and some are downright maudlin. And of course, you all know how I feel about maudlin. But, whatever, here she be. Please take note of my use of capitalization and bear in mind that I was a wee bit miffed in those days.

Michael Clancy

Quiet War

Fifty eight thousand and twenty three
Needn’t worry about P.T.S.D.

Tried and convicted by the press
Shamed and ignored by the rest

Crazed drug addicts you did agree
Murdering rapists you said with glee

Fragging officers at our leisure
Burning babies just for pleasure

When Our Enemy sought to hide
you sought to expose Him with herbicide

your chemistry was laced with dioxin
you didn’t tell Us it was toxin

ladies, they don’t like surprise
Mutant babies might arise

lady bird perched in her gilded cage
Beautification she did rage

As long as We kept Viet Nam quite neat
she didn’t care if We turned to meat

The Enemy surely got a surprise
americans sent Them medical supplies

The N.V.A. in the paddies discovered
With Band Aid brand They soon recovered

This was given to Them free
They didn’t have to pay a fee

The Ones who had to pay the price
Were Friends who had to be shipped in ice

Rose was tried and convicted of treason
This before the age of reason

jane with the Enemy she was siding
Now makes money aerobisizing

When the war filled you with shame
you found it easy to forget Our name

As though you didn’t want Us near
you hoped that We would just disappear

Tried and convicted by the press
Tried and convicted without redress

they dissected and defined Us
Inspected and maligned Us

Korean vets they were forgotten
Viet Nam Vets were branded rotten

Are you friend or are you foe
In Viet Nam We did not know

Are you friend or are you foe
Now a home We still don’t know

To Coventry We were sent
I this hell Our time We’ve spent

some were rude but most just cool
Politeness was the golden rule

you used a powerful social principle
Acting as though We were invisible

Afraid you were to buck the trend
Afraid to have Us for a friend

Some employers didn’t want to take a chance
Instead they gave Us a little song and dance

If We really wanted to make it
We shut Our mouth and tried to fake it

In Our hearts this raised a gail
This was committing self betrayal

Into Our holes We did climb
To wait until a better time

Darkness then did gather round Us
Paranoia then did bound Us

The winter has been bleak and long
The beast within has grown so strong

In the cold outside the glass
We could see but could not pass

For Me it’s now been eighteen years
Only God could count the tears

In the beginning you owed Us little
you chose to pay Us with your spittle

A stitch in time saves nine they say
The rent grows wider with each day

What you offer now is little
you won’t mind if We return your spittle

The only payment that now isn’t trash
Is the one that’s made in hard cold cash

This social aversion Jesus Christ did know
Denied three times before the cock did crow

More than three thousand six hundred and fifty times
The cock has awoke his voice to chime

Now you call Jesus Christ your messiah
But remember He died on the cross a pariah

you are for Us now you say
Where were you another day

you betrayed Us and enraged Us
The anger may yet derange Us

Now you deign to condescend
And wonder why We’re not your friend

For Those of Us who could not wait
your condescension came to late

Tried and convicted by the press
Sixty thousand couldn’t stand the stress

On Their flesh the Worms partake
Suicide became Their fate

We may yet begin to forgive
When you make these Men again live

Viet Nam is not Our blame
But Our condition is your shame

The fabric is rent beyond repair
Nothing left but black despair

When the next war finally comes
What will you advise your sons

Since Viet Nam they’d be the fool
To even consider to fight for you

For if they lose your blood will cool
And they will learn to hate you too

I hope “Our Sons” will never fight
I’d rather see Them take to flight

On the day that They come home
you’ll have to gnaw a bitter bone

For what They do you can’t dissent
For you have given precedent

america’s hero, stalone is seeking
Less than three syllables he is speaking

In Viet Nam when Men were bleedin
sylvester slithered off to Sweden

By the nose your sons he’s leadin
Again he won’t have to do no bleedin

If your son fights an unpopular war
he’ll be treated like a whore

If his war he does not win
he’ll not be forgiven for his sin

you can tell Us it’s all in Our head
When you can account for sixty thousand dead

We were Our nations most dependable
We are now their most expendable

The pledge of allegiance may now be retired
Loyalty is no longer required

If war makes you a little nervous

The flag on the stamp on My letter will fly

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