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The Medic At Dawn (poem)
By Marc Levy
Monsoon–and we live like dogs,
Hunters and hunted down.
At dawn, see how like sitting monks
Soaked ponchos, tight-pulled robes
Trap heat from squares of pale blue flame.
See how steam clouds rise
From the backs of shivering men.
Look at them–
All night lying wet
Crawling with Tinea cruris,
Alive with it.
Hear their whispered cries
Soon trembling choppers
Will soar us back to a barbed wire nest
Of sandbag bunkers, thundering canons
Free to gamble, clean our weapons
Drink warm beer, warm soda
But here, under a sky of sheltering trees
One by one, I tilt my green canteen
Press white soap to pristine flesh
Unfurl my hand to skirl and kill
Until each man arises fresh
Until one precious week from now–
Patrol, jungle, ambush, monsoon–
Bless me father, for I will sin
We arrive to kill, and kill again.