Hao – November 2021

I emerge
bloodied but unbowed
under the smoke rings
of a genteel spirit

a war veteran
with one too many accidents in Saigon
inviting his children to dine at the war table
talking sweet sensabilities into their soft little ears

these small upside warriors of freedom
were his last memory of her
along with a porcelain doll, a gift she gave not long after they met
it was her most valuable possession in a world of sticks and mud

it was 1960
he stumbled upon a village
his mind painted wicked blue
by the men in the black pyjamas

he didn’t know it,
but that was the last time he felt a connection to another being
after a few months, he spelt out his love for her in lowercase letters
after a year, the first child was born

his commanders then ordered him to burn the village, he refused
others did the job instead
killing everyone, even her
this war was a white whale and silver bullet

that was the last time he served his country
forever cursing uncle Sam and his yeti children
the president and his war cabal
you can still find him searching for the meaning behind that doll’s broken smile

Previous poem (Forest hill): https://ddin.com/2021/11/22/forest-hill-november-2021/

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