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 After Forty Years

After forty years the sights and sounds of that jungle
war still haunts my reverie.
The steaming jungle, the sound of jets roaring into flight,
VC shadows silently moving in the wire just out of sight.
The yellowish, flickering light of a pop flare precariously
descending in the black of night.

The roar of the howitzer, the acidic smell of napalm in the
early morning dew, sand bags bunkers and machine gun crews.
Bouncing Betties, clamor mines, monsoon rains, red mud and no battle lines.

Death constantly lurked in the tall elephant grass, sappers, satchel grenades
and bloody late night raids.  Body bags that set the stage for mother's and father's perpetual tears.

Boredom, loneliness, anxiety, anger, constant fear and occasionally a lonely tear.
Buddies that gave their all and old friends that still suffer when they visit the wall.
It all comes back in the middle of the night, no matter how I scream and fight.
Dreams of a war long past and only forgotten when dawn comes at last.
.Jackie R. Kays

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