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THE VETERAN

Page 33
Download PDF of this full issue: v48n2.pdf (20 MB)

<< 32. An Unforgettable Encounter in the Central Highlands: A USO Girl Remembers34. We Did What We Could (poem) >>

Been There Done That (poem)

By Peter Mahoney

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I have a hat I wear

Sometimes

Caked with dirt and sweat

Showing its age

Like the head it sits on

It reads

Vietnam

Been there done that

A conversation piece

But few ever notice

And fewer still respond

Perhaps the words are hard to see

The letters faded

Like the memories behind them

Perhaps the words are hard to bear

Better ignored than acknowledged

Like the plight of those

Who have been there

And done that


Some do respond

Were you in Vietnam?

A nod

Thank you for your service


Thank you for your service

I have served nothing

But a dripping plate

Of death and blood

To strangers

And a heaping bowl of grief

To the ones I love

I have served no one

But old men with fantasies

Paid with young men's lives

I am the blunt instrument of oppression

The spear point of fear

Thank you for your service


I want to scream

At the naive complicity

In the crimes we commit

But I don't

I nod and smile

And walk away

Basking in the brief distinction

Of one who's been there

And done that


—Peter Mahoney


<< 32. An Unforgettable Encounter in the Central Highlands: A USO Girl Remembers34. We Did What We Could (poem) >>



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