Hello

I remember as yesterday my first few days in Vietnam;
Can nearly lay myself down in that abused army bunk.
With herniated springs, a mattress bulge sagged to the floor.
Should a person use it State side, it would be depressing.
Over there it was just…...depressing, but what the hell,
I knew there were only 365 nights left in that year - 1970,
And I felt good that this one, at least, was jungle free.

Processed into Division, FTA at Bien Hoa, amazed by
The large serving of ice cream for evening dessert and
By how easy the war was so far.
Darkness did not hide though, that there, I was one step closer
To the jungle and its strange, little night-loving men
Who seemed not afraid to die. The air did grow heavier,
The artillery KA_RUMPS were closer and their flashes
More meaningful, causing me to wonder…
Who was dying tonight….out there, beyond the berm?

Then on to Brigade and Battalion headquarters hidden in
The red dust of Quan Loi. Company assignment to Bravo.
I was encouraged that 11 days had gone by and
The jungle still was no more than a mere mental conception.
But on the 12th or a day later, a log bird carried me high
(I think I was calm) over my new family resting this side of
The Song Be river. We spiraled down and, penny bright, I hopped
To the bamboo littered LZ (a recent Daisy Cutter product) to briefly rest my eyes
On Ronnie Johnson, stripped to the waist and bearded the past three days.
No handclasp, little surprise showed in either and walking across
The LZ to meet the Captain, I felt like knocking as I knew
That here, I'd found the doorway to the jungle.

Bob Kon, 01 Nov 73

Poets