THE LAST HILLS-YUDAM-NI
Sundown the 26th
About a mile and a half gained.
We stretched across the valley floor,
ZULU style; beating our shields with our spears;
Scaring the shit out of dwellers
Of the dark brooding hill ahead;
Split-Dog and Easy onto hills to the west;
Fox onto a hill to the east.
Third Battalion east and south
Clobbered about midnite.
Thus began a 24/7 moving firefight
With 120 thousand Chinese.
Dog / Easy atop separate hills-cut-off.
Three days of gap closing-fighting,
Finally back where we started.
Casualties-some didn’t make it.
Not me yet.
It was after we passed the sniper
Working on targets where we had left;
In a clearing; a truck;
A hole in the frozen ground;
There was something different happening.
A crew was helping marines off the truck.
They would stand briefly,
Bloody bandages swirling in the cruel wind
the fall face down in the hole;
One by one-KIA-frozen stiff.
The truck bay was full of boots.
Wenselaus sensed the pause in our column;
Moved us quickly off;
Work to do.
Another set of fighting holes to dig;
Another gap to plug;
Another nite of battle.