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 In a Field of Elephant Grass

There’s a dark place in a far off jungle land,
that still haunts my reverie….
after four long decades.

A field of death where Bouncing Betty’s still
lurks among the poppies, elephant grass
and rusting wire.

On a dark monsoon night so many
years ago…still often echoes in my mind.

Flares aglow, as time stands still…
a mighty war bird’s flight suddenly and
violently ends with a thundering crash!

In sheets of wind, the monsoon rages on…
as silent fear permeates this unholy
place of war.

Now… mangled metal slowly rusts in
that poppy field and Bouncing Betty’s
silently wait to maim those wandering

 Forty year long past…
but etched in my memory
forever to last…

of seven young men in
that tragic flight on that
deadly monsoon jungle

Jackie R. Kays
4th of July 08

This poem is dedicated to
the crew of the C-123 flare-ship
that crashed outside of the wire
at DaNang Air Base, S. Vietnam
on the 21st day of November 1965.

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