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Guard Duty on a Dusty Road (A Poem out of Vietnam)

Guard Duty on a Dusty Road (A Poem out of Vietnam)

In Vietnam I kept in touch with one sonnet and only one (1971):

Watch Duty on a Dusty Road

I'm over here alert obligation

rifle what not...

(sent a letter to Rachel).

The residue on the way

that 20 gauge shot shells my cottage

(close to the ammunition dump)

is dusty and harsh...

not much to do here

simply converse with yourself

count the hours

as they go by

(ensure the VC

try not to get excessively close);

sit tight for the five-ton

to show up, take me back

(off this dusty street)

to 611 Ordnance,

which I call home!

Note: I thought (at that point), I ought to send a sonnet home, maybe to my mom, or send it to somebody, anyone, to tell them I was alive, even a magazine or paper rung a bell. I recall, the day was long, and hot, I was in Cam Ranh Bay, South Vietnam, and was chosen for monitor obligation, and when the truck got me, to take me back, we drove down along the South China Sea, a smoother street there, and up into our camping area, a few miles from the three ammunition dumps that involved the landmass.

I put the sonnet in my pocket, and failed to remember I left it there, wouldn't understand it briefly, and afterward concealed it. The sonnet was expounded on June, 1971. It was not long after this time, we got hit by rockets, which were at 2:00 AM in the first part of the day, and I'd need to go this time within the ammunition dump to watch, not certain what we were monitoring, the rockets came surrounding us, and some inside meters of me.

The VC would explode the Air Force dump that evening which was close to Charlie Dump, (one man wound up dead) and our dump being Alpha. It was a difficult evening. In any case, after numerous years, the sonnet shows up, and interestingly starting around 1971, it is accessible for perusing. It doesn't say a lot, simply a hot day, wary obligation, far away.

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