Reflections - a poem
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REFLECTIONS
From the book: "Land of Childhood's Fears"

© Copyright 1999, 2005 - David Todeschini - all rights reserved
        You can read more of my poetry on International War Veterans Poetry Archives

Get PDF Copy

Join The Blog for this article

In the days of my youth long past,
With my hand over my heart,
And with the innocence of tender years,
I pledged allegiance and played the part.

A few more years of those days went by,
And as I listened to the NEWS,
I learned of a place called Vietnam,
And that young men went there to die.

Later on, as I grew older,
And more a man for those eighteen years,
I went to fight for Freedom’s calling
In the
Land of Childhood’s Fears.

But in the middle of that long battle,
I found the war could not be won,
So I turned the ramparts inward,
And sang the songs of peace and love.

And as much as I tried to fight it;
And as badly as I longed to win,
The drugs of Southeast Asia
Had caused the best of us to sin.

And of course there were the children,
Who by destiny were born
In this land of mystic beauty,
That which by the war, was torn.

If it wasn’t for the killing fields,
And the air-strike that went wrong,
I would not have felt the pangs of guilt,
And wouldn’t do what I had done.

And the memories of my youth long past;
The sweet kisses I used to steal,
Mixed with Napalm, bombs, and love’s sweet charms,
And now I don’t know what to feel.

The most tragic sight of a soldier’s sorrow
Were shiny boxes loaded on the plane;
C-130’s full of death’s grim cargo,
Taking home those who died in vain.

Amid the bullets, bombs, and battles;
Among the flowers and the stars,
Children frolicked in the rain-soaked streets,
And sold their bodies in the Saigon bars.

And amid this tragic sorrow,
There was a day beyond compare;
A sweet little angel stole my heart,
And wiped the chocolate in her hair.

My beloved country made me angry,
And Vietnam had made me sad,
The Homeland I was defending
Had turned its back on me and dad.

I tried to be a Christian, first;
An American, most of all,
But my country had eaten Eden’s apple,
And was destined for the fall.

Many of us had burned their draft cards,
Our civil rights, there were but few,
We sang of peace and love, and played Rock n’ Roll;
There was little else that we could do.

And when the Kent State protest gathered,
The National Guard was called out, too.
And the bullets that killed the four of them
Were also aimed at me and you.

The entire country mourned the lives
Of the students who had died;
In Vietnam, and on Kent’s front lawn,
With the tears their mothers cried!

The whole country rose to anger,
And the anger turned to rage
When NEWS of the My Lai massacre,
Made the New York Times’ front page.

With little hope of negotiation,
And a purpose quite unknown,
We had fought ten years, and cried the tears,
And came home in disgrace, alone.

And it took another decade, still
For the country to hear their call;
To respect the dead, and make amends,
And put their names up on the wall.

The war there has long-since ended,
But some of us are suff’ring, still;
I remember in my dreams
The silent screams,
And I guess I always will.

And I pray the world has learned a lesson,
By the pain and the lives we lost;
That war ain’t worth the trouble,
And the untold human cost.

And America can be reminded
On that one special Veteran’s Day,
Of the price we paid for freedom,
And for those of us, to pray.

 

“.... And he shall wipe away every tear from their eyes; and death shall be no more; neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain, any more: the first things are passed away."                  - Revelation 21:4 (KJV)

 

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You can read more of my poetry on International War Veterans Poetry Archives


Get PDF Copy


Author's Note: This poem was so well received by veterans in New York, that I changed the title of the book, which was originally "Roots & Wings" (after an ancient Chinese proverb) to line # 12 of this poem. This poem was read over the air on Radio Liberty on July 2, 2004, as I was just finishing the 506-page manuscript.
 


"Land of Childhood's Fears - Faith, Friendship, and The Vietnam War"  - ISBN  # 1-4116-2452-1 - Paperback
"Land of Childhood's Fears - Faith, Friendship, and The Vietnam War"
 - ISBN # 1-4116-7111-2  - Hardcover

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