Michael Draga

Author's Name: Michael Draga

Title: "1968"

I close my eyes and taste the acrid air 

Smell the wasted foul soil 

Feel the bitter loneness 

I try not to look at the lifeless bodies 
Green camo and pajamaed black clad

I can feel the dirt in my skin

Encrusted 

That rolls muddied with my sweat 

I remember not having showered for weeks 

Clean sheets are a luxury lost

The place words are a mystic fantasy land

They ring

Da Nang, Dong Ha, Hue, and Quang Tri 

We are boys who never had a chance to play 

Never had a transiition from study hall to medivac

Some of us went from the prom to the grave

Even those there, were those of us 

Who came back with scars 

Without sight or limb 

Or minds that stayed sane 

But as boys we learned

We learned to hate 

We learned of unknown evil 

That we never knew each of us possessed

We learned of an unremorseful knowledge of killing 

No, of murder

Like the night on a killing team

When we heard a baby cry

Then we heard the bullet whine 

Then we heard the silent nothing

Each of us were guilty 

Equally

Alone 

We  were the bad guys I tell my son

We were wrong 

We were evil

Forgive us

Close your eyes and taste the death

Close your eyes in tear

Forgive us

Forgive me.