Mike, this is a good poem that gives me the images of the choppers flying in to drop of pick up and medevac out of the firefight. I had a friend who was only about 50 miles away from me and I never knew that he stepped on a land mine as he was leading his squad to a pickup point. He was killed instantly.
I lost another friend who was a chopper pilot and he was called in for cover fire for evac, they were hit and the chopper blew up with no survivors. I was wounded in combat on the rivers in the Mekong Delta during the TET OFFENSIVE in 1968–1969.
You’ve written a good poem and it is surrealistic just as Vietnam was to many of us. I really liked your image of dragonflies, it was a good vision to use. The choppers did look like these little insects and it would have given a pleasant image to us, it we had been able to envision them at the time.
Vietnam was a place, that when I was in High School, I only knew very little about. But, after I returned home, I knew that I had learned about Hell, first hand.
I pray that our young men and women will never see this kind of war ever again. We are fighting in Afghanistan and Iraq and a few other small places around the world. I only know that we fought a war, in a jungle that was a half way around the world. And I lost friends and a part of my childhood innocence, and for awhile, I lost my soul.
Healing ain’t easy and it takes you places that you never want to see again.
Well done Mike