From Vietnam Veterans Against the War, http://www.vvaw.org/veteran/article/?id=3277

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Vinh Long, 1st View (poem)

By David Sandgrund

The helicopter lifted off

Leaving him alone

Heart pounding, sweating

In the hot and humid breeze

His clothes sticking to his body

Shielding his eyes from the river's glare

He watches brown water rushing past

Green vegetation floating by

Catching on the rocks

A woman washing clothes

Another collecting the water hyacinth

Straw hats covering their heads

The breeze blowing

Their baggy pants

Their thin blouses

At the river's edge

A young girl stands

With a sweet, tender look

Smiling she hands him

A water hyacinth

Blue petals sparkling

In the sunlight

A gift from

A serene beauty

Behind him traffic noises

Tinny motors, squeaky horns

Mingle with the distant

Unintelligible voices

From the market

From passing boat

The air filled with strange odors

Fish, drying vegetation

Food from the market stalls

Avoiding the bicycles and motor bikes

He turns and walks

Down the road


—David Sandgrund

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