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Vietnam Generation Journal

Volume 4, Number 3-4

November 1992

Texts made available by the Sixties Project, are generally copyrighted by the Author or by Viet Nam Generation, Inc., all rights reserved. These texts may be used, printed, and archived in accordance with the Fair Use provisions of U.S. Copyright law. These texts may not be archived, printed, or redistributed in any form for a fee, without the consent of the copyright holder. This notice must accompany any redistribution of the text. A few of the texts we publish are in the public domain. For information on a specific text, contact Kalí Tal. The Sixties Project, sponsored by Viet Nam Generation Inc. and the Institute of Advanced Technology in the Humanities at the University of Virginia at Charlottesville, is dedicated to using electronic resources to provide routes of collaboration and make available primary and secondary sources for researchers, students, teachers, writers and librarians interested in the 1960s.

Poetry by Rod McQueary



--for a friend

the huey crew
made a routine hop
fast in and out
to get some local folks

the old viet
shuffles up
his flickering eyes
crooked gold-glint smile
tries to hide his fear

his last sin
fatal mistake
was to stumble
mar the polish on
a cold-eyed door-gunner's
spit shined boot

it was over in three
heart beats
they were up and gone
out of sight of the little
the old man's
struggling body parts
accepted death
and lay back


White Wall

There ought to be another wall
White, bright, pretty
In a grove of trees
with picnic tables,
dance floor, and a
Viet Vet ragtime band.
A happy place where
Folks could go to laugh
and dance and argue
Football teams and candidates.
On the White Wall, there would be
A tremendous list of those
Who didn't die.
Behind each name,
a little heart... for a fulfilling marriage
a little happy face... for a
well-adjusted child,
a little diploma... for a valuable education,
a rewarding life.
Everyone is welcome here,
To cool drinks, rummy games,
To meet interesting people who
Talk, laugh, have fun, wander off.
To celebrate our survivorhood.
Not mourn our stolen martyrdom.

There are some who will
Have to be shown
The White Wall.
Taken to their own name
and told
"There, by God, is proof."



For Life

If life were just one April day,
And I should wake, mid-afternoon,
To feel the sunshine on my shirt,
Warm scattered raindrops wet my cheek,
I'd marvel with my newborn eyes
At the beauty I had never seen.

If life should be one April day,
I'll not pine for a morning, lost,
Nor mourn some stolen martyrdom.

But hand in hand, my love and I
will lift one cup for fallen friends,
Then, our business done,
We'll laugh till wrinkles frame our eyes.

And in these final precious hours,
We'll celebrate the eveningtime.


for nothing

for paw-tay

a sunday evening phone call
to a brother-in-law
i ask about an old story
he half told          once

we took two dusters to the
cambodian border
or maybe farther
he said

to a fire base on top a hill
assigned to shoot
russian resupply choppers

they had been taking
rockets mortars
all day
all night          for two weeks

when the resupply hueys
would come in
these soldiers would
scream and jump
scream and jump
hang from the skids
the pilot would
wiggle and spin his ship
and shake them off
they would fall
and curse          and sob

i was there two days
a long time          he said

how many russian copters
did they get i ask

could never get
the clearance
to shoot

Rod McQueary, Ruby Valley, NV, contributed poems to Viet Nam Generation 4:1-2. He is a leading Cowboy Poet, and appears frequently at Gatherings and in John Dofflemyer's Dry Crik Review, PO 51, Lemon Cove, CA 93244. Dofflemyer will soon publish Blood Trail, a collection of McQueary and fellow cowboy vet Bill Jones, Jr.

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