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JERRY FROM VIETNAM at the Old Soldiers' Home


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                           "Hi Jerry."

                           You sit in your wheelchair
                           Looking so sad,
                           Remembering.
                           "I gave my sister away at her wedding
                           Last month," you say.

                           And then
                           You smile.
                           Sunshine.

                           You had been shot
                           In the head.
                           You couldn't move
                           Or talk.

                           "Feeling is back in one leg
                           And one arm.
                           I can speak again,
                           Thank God."

                           You want to get back
                           To school
                           And to work.

                           You didn't recall
                           How old you were
                           Until later.
                           "I'll be thirty
                           In five days,"
                           You said
                           With a grin,
                           Because you were so happy
                           You remembered.

                           The youngest man in Building Four.

                           When you left the room
                           I followed you;
                           Kissed the top of your head.
                           "You'll be out of here
                           In a year, Jerry,"
                           I said,
                           "You'll be fine."

                           You looked in my eyes,
                           Smiled once more.
                           "I know."

                                             Annette, 1979
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