VIETNAM WAR POETRY

        NEW Vietnam War Poetry from a Contributing Poet - VietnamWarPoetry.com	Mick Terry	1-22-19
  Face to Face

[ Based on interview of Vietnam War veteran Rich Lutrell by Jane Pauley on NBC-TV   1-28-05, 4-13-05 ]

            We had been in country nearly three days. So far, Charlie had not yet been seen.
            Our uniforms dripped with rancid sweat. Our whole world was shades of tan & green.
            Out on point, I led our squad through thick vines, when thereís suddenly, 1 man ahead.
            I donít know who was the more surprised, but one of us would soon be dead.

            Seconds ticked by, dragging to forever, with his eyes completely locked to mine.
            Instead of fear, curiosity, with his head the slightest bit inclined.
            Then my training finílly took me over, M-16 spit bullets through his gills.
            My sergeant slapped me upon my back, congratulating my first kill.

                        Face to face, itís all right in this moment.
                        Face to face, it all adds up to now.
                        Just where our lives are leading from ecstasy to torment:
                        Face to face.

            Thereís a battle raging in the forest. Thereís a battle raging in my head.
            From his pocket falls a damaged photo of him holding his young daughter close.
            Iíve seen a lot of- famíly shots, but this one haunts me more than most.

                        Face to face, itís all right in this moment ...

            Thirty years pass: still I had that photo Ďtil I left it at the Viet Wall.
            Thought maybe now I could find some peace. Maybe that would be the end of it all.
            But behind the scenes, thereís something happíning: items left there honored in a book.
            Beyond my reach, out of my control, Iím forced to take another look.

                                    Is it just coincidence that leads us through our lives?
                                    Is this all just happenstance or some divine- purpose?

            Through a sequence I can barely fathom, here I find myself again in ĎNam.
            Bouquet in hand, I approach the home of the girl I took her father from.
            What does 1 say to someone that youíve orphaned? How does 1 ask someone to forgive?
            With grace and warmth, she accepts me in: a closure where her father lives.

                        Face to face, itís all right in this moment.
                        Face to face, it all adds up to now.
                        Just where our lives are leading from ecstasy to torment:
                        Face to face.

by Contributing Poet:     Mick Terry   Copyright © 2005
      ( First published in   VietnamWarPoetry.com   2019 )


                  NEW Vietnam War Poetry from a Contributing Poet - VietnamWarPoetry.com		- -17
Bio:   Mick Terry   is the co-founder, Web Designer & Webmaster of this Vietnam War Poetry website.
For more, please see his bio on the About Us page.
MickTerry.com


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