Once they were young and shined .....

And just like the incredible blue of his eyes
the beauty only slightly jaded
He picks up the old boots from out
of the old chest worn then faded

His hair now white though once
Irish raven black
He thinks of the dress blues
in the clost ...way in the back

He would someday toss them with
ribbons and medals in the pocket
The same way a lover hides away
her rings necklace her locket

The last time he wore those boots
Da Nang nineteen sixty eight
"Happy valley.."the rock "...."hill fifty- five"
all of them ....his fate

But the boots hold his attention
for a little too long
As in the back of his mind
the music to a song

Whats the name of it ? He tries
remembering the words
Whispering ...."puff the magic dragon"or
"what a beautiful world"

He snaps his fingers and the sound
makes him more aware as well

One day he's in the "bush"with the devil
then "twenty four and a wake up "
he came back to his own hell


Yet its not the music he remembers as much as the smells , napalm and diesel in the burning privy trenches , the physically and mind altering yet invigorating chop-wop sounds of the" Huey " helicopter blades , the first taste of his own blood and then someone elses muscle tissue soaking into his own gungle camos' , those images , the smells and kodak visions in his head that appear out of no where , like a monsoon rain in the 'bush'.....you know ! the ones they told him to "just forget about them " in sixty -nine........Have you hugged a veteran today ?


Comments 15 comments

wayne barrett profile image

wayne barrett 3 years ago from Clearwater Florida

Here's a salute to you and this great tribute, Ed. It is amazing how memories flood my mind and invade my dreams. I too have those old uniforms in the back of the closet and the ribbons and mementos tucked away. Forgotten for awhile but now I realize how precious they are to me. I have two Honorable discharges. They remained in the bottom of a box for decades...but now are tucked away in a safe.


Nikkij504gurl profile image

Nikkij504gurl 3 years ago from Louisiana

Thanks for this and thanks to our vets and to the soldiers today.


ahorseback profile image

ahorseback 3 years ago Author

Wayne my friend ! You deserve to remove them from hiding and as you look at the well remembered wrinkles and remember ! There are those who know how much YOU have paid ! And appreciate your truest heart that has sacrificed for Us !......Ed


ahorseback profile image

ahorseback 3 years ago Author

Nikki , you my dear girl .are so adorable in the wisdom that you show ! Thank you for THAT!...... your admirer ...Ed


frogyfish profile image

frogyfish 3 years ago from Central United States of America

Beautifully sad, powerful!

And salutes from the heart for every vet who paid this kind of price - or more - for my/our freedom.


Beth37 3 years ago

Here it is, I tried to comment on this yesterday and it wouldn't let me, then I couldn't find it.

I LOVED this! It was so well expressed. Awesome!


ahorseback profile image

ahorseback 3 years ago Author

Frogyfish Thank you so much , I appreciate that !.......:-}


ahorseback profile image

ahorseback 3 years ago Author

Beth , thank you dear , I feel strongly about our vets !..........Hugs


Gypsy Rose Lee profile image

Gypsy Rose Lee 3 years ago from Riga, Latvia

Voted up. A great tribute and wonderful reminder. Never forget. Hugs. Passing this on.


ahorseback profile image

ahorseback 3 years ago Author

Gypsy , Thank you and good morning !


ImKarn23 profile image

ImKarn23 3 years ago

post traumatic stress disorder - at it's subtlest...

that doesn't mean it still don't hurt!

Jesus, Cowboy - this gave me chills - WAR SUCKS! HATE SUCKS!

and now - korea - all over again? sigh..

Your talent for getting FEELING across is unsurpassed - like i said - it gives me goosebumps!

voting up and hitting the "HubPages Follower' button...(LOL)

Happy Sunday!


ahorseback profile image

ahorseback 3 years ago Author

Leslie , as you know in the simplest mind of only a man , to raise the goosebumps is the ultimate ! lol, thank you ! ....:-}


Marie Flint profile image

Marie Flint 3 years ago from Jacksonville, FL

An appropriate read for this Veteran's Day! Thank you.


ahorseback profile image

ahorseback 3 years ago Author

Thank you Marie !......:-}


ahorseback profile image

ahorseback 3 years ago Author

Thank you Marie !......:-}

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