VIETNAM WAR POETRY

  Out of the Kitchen
(Haibun Poem)

Responding to my desire to learn how to throw a wicked curve ball Mom says without hesitation, "You'll just have to wait until the baby bottles finish boiling. If you're in such a big hurry you can help by taking them from the kettle." She hands me the tongs, "Put them on the counter to dry while I get Dori from her rocker and dressed to go outside."

The little league coach, Mr. Temple, praises my winning performance, says I'm his new star pitcher. "What a great curve ball, Ace. I bet your dad is really proud."

game ball

placed atop

folded American flag

by Contributing Poet:     Carl "Papa" Palmer   Copyright 2015
      ( First published in   VietnamWarPoetry.com   2015 )


  Green Card Soldier

                        seasonal migrant worker
                        unwed mother in Arizona
                        temporary work visa expires
                        sent back across the border

                        she allows her teenaged son
                        a chance to have a better life
                        than his first eighteen years
                        to stay and join the U.S. Army

                        he fights to become an American
                        becomes an American fighting man
                        offers his life for this country and
                        becomes a citizen ... posthumously

by Contributing Poet:     Carl "Papa" Palmer   Copyright 2015
      ( First published in   VietnamWarPoetry.com   2015 )


  Portrait of Helen

                        Her permanent is just that,
                        not a hair out of place, ever.

                        She smiles forever her same
                        small smile from this cracked

                        faded photo framed in oval pewter
                        on the metal wall locker shelf

                        next to my barracks bay bunk.
                        Her best green dress and pale

                        jade necklace both enhance her
                        rusty red hair remembered from

                        that day in this yellowed black and
                        white print. I touch her picture,

                        stroke her face, long for her embrace,
                        to breathe her aroma of lavender sachet.

                        I close my eyes and sway as my record
                        player plays, "My Wild Irish Rose".

by Contributing Poet:     Carl "Papa" Palmer   Copyright 2015
      ( First published in   VietnamWarPoetry.com   2015 )


  incoming

                        daughter pops bubble wrap
                        laughs as Daddy dives
                        behind the couch
                        after his tour in Vietnam

by Contributing Poet:     Carl "Papa" Palmer   Copyright 2015
      ( First published in   VietnamWarPoetry.com   2015 )


  DALTON

                        Wayne was his name
                        before he went to war,
                        now calls himself, Dalton.

                        Seven seniors joined the army
                        buddy plan after high school
                        graduation, class of '66.

                        Newspaper picture
                        posted permanently in city hall
                        shows seven salutes to our flag
                        before boarding a Ft Bragg bus.

                        The seven young men:
                        Wayne, Dennis, Alan, Lester,
                        Tommy, Oscar and Ned
                        went to war.
                        Only Wayne comes home.

                        He sits on the bench
                        at the downtown greyhound depot,
                        each day, all day,
                        watches riders wave goodbye,
                        tears in their eyes,
                        greeted with handshakes,
                        hugged hello.

                        His cardboard sign displays
                        their names:
                        Dennis
                        Alan
                        Lester
                        Tommy
                        Oscar
                        Ned

                        He calls himself, Dalton.

by Contributing Poet:     Carl "Papa" Palmer   Copyright 2015
      ( First published in   VietnamWarPoetry.com   2015 )


Bio:   Carl "Papa" Palmer   Carl "Papa" Palmer, retired Army, retired FAA, now just plain retired, lives in University Place, WA. He has seven chapbooks and a contest winning poem riding buses somewhere in Seattle. Carl is a Pushcart Prize and Micro Award nominee. MOTTO: Long Weekends Forever
AuthorsDen.com/CarlPalmer


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