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I Remember When I Died

Updated on October 3, 2012

I remember when I died.

I remember that day.

Just like today.

Two Vietnamese children,

                      were taken,


We didn’t find the mine.

It was made of plastic parts.

It was made perfectly,

For taking and breaking hearts.

It was a dusty Vietnamese road.

Where two small lives were taken.

Sometimes a man can’t get back together,

Because of how the parts have been shaken.

The sound of a mine is so profound.

But in that moment, nothing will matter.

The shock will throw you on the ground,

Or make the bravest scatter.

These children walked with us.

They played as children play.

But things don’t last, now do they?

Yes, I remember the day.

It’s funny how we lose,

A piece here and there.

And yet how suddenly,

It’s more than a soul can bear.

No pause.

No cause.

No time for crying.

Others dying.

Set up a perimeter!

                             Medic! Over here!

I guess that’s all.


                                          Nothing’s clear.

Atoms are rearranged,

As black letters on white paper,

Souls ascend as souls are etched with,

“Life is but a vapor”.

As quickly as the snapping of fingers,

While smoke and death still lingered,

I remember

                   when Marines cried.

Each one turned away,

                                     and cried in his own way.


                I remember

                                          the day

                                                                   I died.

So I became another man.

But I didn’t get a clean slate.

It wasn’t like I applied,

To be a man folks loved to hate.

So slowly, I  died again.

I tried to work myself to death.

But I wasn’t dying fast enough,

I wanted to hasten that dying breath.

I built my own gallows,

I was the judge and jury,

I tried myself in absentia,

And punished myself with fury.

I assumed that my sacrifice,

Would earn me a better part,

But I would never see the blow,

That would, once again, tear apart the heart.

Yes, I remember the day I died.

I remember folks who have lied.

Preachers, cops, judges, lawyers

Ex-wives, in-laws, friends, and employers.

All I’ve had is my word.

Where there was once a heart is just a hole.

All else is given away.

And still, still, it comes for the soul.

Yes, I remember when I died.

I remember the final dose.

Time consuming, really.

I remember the alienation the most.

Thank You Lord for my bread,

The healing wounds on heart and head,

The souls I pass on my way down,

The kindred spirits that still come around.

Yes, I’m tired. I’m ready to quit.

Don’t lighten my load until You see fit.

Don’t ease the burden in my head.

Perhaps, just make me stronger instead.

Meanwhile I’ll check this mirror of mine,

And see if I can ever find,

All these men I used to be,

Before I was whittled down to me.

Maybe there will be a turning of the tide,

And I’ll not feel so sick inside.

And I’ll not remember the tears I’ve cried.

And I’ll not remember when I died.

~Micky Dee~


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    • Micky Dee profile imageAUTHOR

      Micky Dee 

      6 years ago

      A lot of us remember when we died. And we die. We walk and talk and sigh. We sit. We stand. We cry. Grown men fall apart and lose heart. Life is but a vapor while others see life as art. I remember when I died. I wish we all could live. But reaching within to begin again means we have more to give. And life lost its allure as I see no cure. I once was certain and now I'm never sure. Puppets to pawns, we're pushed, prodded as they poke, and politicians make our sacrifice - a joke.

    • Micky Dee profile imageAUTHOR

      Micky Dee 

      6 years ago

      God bless Dim.

    • Dim Flaxenwick profile image

      Dim Flaxenwick 

      6 years ago from Great Britain

      I´ve loved this one so much since you 1st wrote it. Hope you don´t mind I just have to share it on my timeline.

      People just don´t know........

    • Micky Dee profile imageAUTHOR

      Micky Dee 

      7 years ago

      I love you dear pmccray. But you know that dear one. God bless you!

      And I want to. I've tried to forget it all, God knows. But dear one, it's a revolving escalator. It's a war mill. Where's the next one. God bless dear.

    • pmccray profile image


      7 years ago from Utah

      Forgive mankind Micky Dee, if you can, for thoughtlessly thrusting you and other young people into the horrors of a war not of your making. Forgive them for making you grow up too fast, by almost dying no young person should have to suffer this fate. Forgive us Micky Dee.

    • Micky Dee profile imageAUTHOR

      Micky Dee 

      7 years ago

      God bless you Kimberly. We all have too much PTSD. We all have too much pain. Thank you dear K.

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      God Bless Micky

      I love you more with each word you make come alive and make me feel

      thank you for that


    • Micky Dee profile imageAUTHOR

      Micky Dee 

      7 years ago

      God bless you Maggie-May.

    • Maggie-May profile image

      Nadine M AuCoin 

      7 years ago from the Island of Cape Breton to the Eastern Shores near Halifax, NS

      This is amazing.


    • Micky Dee profile imageAUTHOR

      Micky Dee 

      7 years ago

      God bless crystolite!

      Hi Darknlovely! Those are Irish "knots". Some may stand for clans. There are so many that I think some were just created from boredom. But I don't know the clans. I don't know any history from Ireland. And I really mean that in the family sense. There was nothing handed down and that always puzzled me. But as for as "clans" of any kind goes - I'm not a member of any. I just chose these because they are some history from Ireland and they separate the verses. I like poems separated in line of four. Of course I can read the poems better. But dear Darknlovely, nobody ever asks me to be a member of any clan. I wonder why. God bless!

    • Darknlovely3436 profile image


      7 years ago from NewYork

      interest Mickey especially those symbols, I was just wondering what some of them represent?

    • crystolite profile image


      7 years ago from Houston TX

      Nice poem yoh have in here Micky Dee.

    • Micky Dee profile imageAUTHOR

      Micky Dee 

      7 years ago

      Hi Lady Jane. A lot of people have suffered losses and terrible tragedies. Life has it all. We dream of a world where there is less suffering, tears, yet we're full of all of these things constantly. God bless you Lady Jane.

    • ladyjane1 profile image


      7 years ago from Texas

      Excellent poem Micky. I think we all have died a time or two during the trials and tribulations that we have. Of course nothing compares with war and I understand that as my father was a P.O.W in WWII. He suffered with his painful memories til the day he died. But whatever we go through what doesn't kill us definitely makes us stronger and that is the way that I see you as a very strong man. God Bless and cheers.

    • Micky Dee profile imageAUTHOR

      Micky Dee 

      7 years ago

      Oh Dim! I feel the same way. You lighten my load so often dear Dim! You know I love you dear.

      Thank you Faye, dear Creativeone!

      God bless your great heart attemptedhumor. I have no desires for money or success, so I doubt I will ever publish. I'm just a broken man in spirit. I feel like I owe an apology to the world for my admission. But that's the truth. God bless.

      Thank you for reading meteoboy. God bless!

    • meteoboy profile image


      7 years ago from GREECE

      Excellent article !!!! It touch our soul and creating many feelings .Thank you

    • attemptedhumour profile image


      7 years ago from Australia

      Hi Micky i had to read this again to soak up the emotion you poured into it. Doug is right, your thoughts and words need a bigger audience. A massive worldwide one, but then i suppose Melbourne isn't exactly around the corner. Poetry and foreign policy don't usually mix, but it's a pity both sides couldn't read some of your poems before they make admittedly tough decisions. Cheers buddy.

    • creativeone59 profile image

      benny Faye Douglass 

      7 years ago from Gold Canyon, Arizona

      Thank you Micky, for a very beautiful but sad poem. Thank you for sharing. Godspeed. creativeone59

    • Dim Flaxenwick profile image

      Dim Flaxenwick 

      7 years ago from Great Britain

      How is it possible to feel so close to someone you´ve never met.?Because your writing is so good, l guess.l always feel l´m near you when your heart is doing the writing. This was exceptional., Micky. l wish l could take some of your pain away. Beautiful, beautiful. poem. l´m crying. xxx God Bless xxx

    • Micky Dee profile imageAUTHOR

      Micky Dee 

      7 years ago

      God bless chspublish!

      Thank you dear meow. The world must be a tad off center. God bless you!

    • meow48 profile image


      7 years ago from usa

      thankyou for sharing this. it shows how much you have grown. i remember my dad screaming out in his sleep... and he never talked about the war... that is, world war II. shame our world politians will never read this. take care and god bless you. i stand in awe. true awe and respect.

    • chspublish profile image


      7 years ago from Ireland

      Great is the language of the soul, as it speaks. Breath-taking.

    • Micky Dee profile imageAUTHOR

      Micky Dee 

      7 years ago

      God bless you and your family attemptedhumor! I think you're right, "the Vietnamese people have shown how to honor forgiveness."

    • attemptedhumour profile image


      7 years ago from Australia

      The average person never has to stand at that crossroads, not knowing who the new person will be on the other side. Vietnam Vets were abysmally treated, as if what they had gone through wasn't enough. But not by all of course, or most, i'd like to think. This is a dreadful topic Micky, but i don't think that there is another person on this planet who could have given a better eulogy to two innocent victims of an unwanted conflict. You cannot carry that guilt, you had no real choice and the Vietnamese people have shown how to honor forgiveness. Cheers buddy.

    • Micky Dee profile imageAUTHOR

      Micky Dee 

      7 years ago

      God bless CMerritt!

    • CMerritt profile image

      Chris Merritt 

      7 years ago from Pendleton, Indiana

      Don't have the words to say. You left much emotion in that one, and it was felt.

      God Bless you Mickey!


    • Micky Dee profile imageAUTHOR

      Micky Dee 

      7 years ago

      God bless manlypoetryman!

    • manlypoetryman profile image


      7 years ago from (Texas !) Boldly Writing Poems Where No Man Has Gone Before...

      Mickey Dee: This particular incident that you witnessed was not on you. As tragic as it was...and obviously capable of leaving a long scar on your memory. It wasn't you that set the mine! It was plastic...and hard to detect...according to your words. is not on just happened to be there serving us all during a very bad fight. Thank you for your service and chronicling this down for us to know the horrids of war...for all time! Best Regards to you MD...

    • Micky Dee profile imageAUTHOR

      Micky Dee 

      7 years ago

      "It's been a long time coming, but a change is gonna come." God bless y'all!

    • pan1974 profile image


      7 years ago from Columbus,Ga

      That was sad and touching, i was really moved by that,wow.

    • chrismarva profile image


      7 years ago

      Nice to see your work again. Your heart and your hand are well connected. Your friend always Chris

    • toknowinfo profile image


      7 years ago

      Your writing... is beautiful. Your words have touched my heart. Your poem reached the depth of my soul. Your story, I will never forget. While reading your hub I was reminded of a book called "The Things They Carried" by Tim O'Brien. Being witness to a war changes you forever. I hope from your writing you are healing. Be kind to yourself, you have endured much.

    • Storytellersrus profile image


      7 years ago from Stepping past clutter

      Mickey Dee, I did not know. Hugs.

    • A M Werner profile image

      Allen Werner 

      7 years ago from West Allis

      My friend, such beautiful words. Your brought forth tears. There is never anything any of us can say to such things but to be amazed.

      Revelation 21:4 'And the Creator shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away.'

      Be at Peace Micky Dee - Allen

    • justom profile image


      7 years ago from 41042

      Stay strong my brother and keep writing these beautiful words. Peace!! Tom and Justin

    • drpastorcarlotta profile image

      Pastor Dr. Carlotta Boles 

      7 years ago from BREAKOUT MINISTRIES, INC. KC

      Your poem touched my heart. I loved it when you thanked the Lord for your bread! AMEN!!! Voted-Up!

    • A.A. Zavala profile image

      Augustine A Zavala 

      7 years ago from Texas

      Mickey, beautiful poem regarding a traumatic event. Disclosure in the form of your poems and hubs about these events can help you overcome. Thank you for sharing and including us in your inner circle.

    • amillar profile image


      7 years ago from Scotland, UK

      It seems you had a difficult time out there Micky; no one should have to experience that sort of thing. The fact that it affected you so deeply, and that your words are so eloquent, is testament to your humanity.

      'God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change; courage to change the things I can; and wisdom to know the difference.'

    • always exploring profile image

      Ruby Jean Richert 

      7 years ago from Southern Illinois

      Vety beautiful Micky, full of sadness. A time gone but remains still. God Bless you.

    • Christopher Price profile image

      Christopher Price 

      7 years ago from Vermont, USA


      I swear you must have a glass panel in your bare your heart so thoroughly!

      Man, you didn't start that war, and you shouldn't accept the burden of survivor's guilt. When you reach our ages it's easily to compile a list of people you've outlived who deserved to have more time. But, just because they are gone, doesn't mean we are less worthy of life. Life is a crap shoot. You were just in the middle of a rigged game.

      "All these men I used to be,

      Before I was whittled down to me."

      I loved these lines. I understand how the years can wear at us. But, the other result of whittling is that the outer layers and excess material is stripped away until the reality within is revealed.

      And you Mickey Dee are a treasure.

      Great and powerful poem.



    • DavePrice profile image


      7 years ago from Sugar Grove, Ill

      Peace, brother, peace, like a gentle rain falling on your heart. Regret, that keeps us from repeating our mistakes, but guilt, that's a demon monster whose only purpose is to steal our life. Your life is a good one, friend, and worthy of love and honor. I give you both. Peace, my brother, peace...

    • Genna East profile image

      Genna East 

      7 years ago from Massachusetts, USA

      Painful and compelling echoes of what many had to and still endure. Bless you, my friend, you have a magnificent heart and the soul of a true poet.

    • katiem2 profile image


      7 years ago from I'm outta here

      Oh my Micky how painful that was AND is and I too can relate to memories of the day when I died, no doubt like you yourself I too have died a time or two. God bless you beautiful soul and may you know insane joy and bliss on this Saturday! Love and Prayers, Katie ;)

    • Amy Becherer profile image

      Amy Becherer 

      7 years ago from St. Louis, MO

      Some truths are almost too unbearable to accept. You, too, Micky Dee, like those little children, were an innocent in harm's way. I hope, at least, they never had a moment to know what was coming. You, my friend, will always know and remember. You are hero in continuing your path in God's name. You have great courage. Thank you, Micky Dee.

    • BobbiRant profile image


      7 years ago from New York

      A wonderful and descriptive depiction of the chaos of war and how it makes a person feel. Tears now, reaching for the tissue as this brought me to an understanding that few poems have done. Well done, beautiful and tap dancing on Your buttons sir!

    • profile image

      Doug Turner Jr. 

      7 years ago

      Micky, I know how much you love the hub, but this really needs to be published in an official poetry journal. It's finely written, polished, and full of emotion and memories so wrenching that they can hardly be dealt with. I encourage you to send it to one of the larger NY publishing houses. This piece simply deserves a larger audience -- as in, everyone in America should read it -- and elsewhere, for that matter. Peace, my friend.

    • 50 Caliber profile image

      50 Caliber 

      7 years ago from Arizona

      Mic' those often remark "how tough,rough and sad, dying in a war" I've found it harder than could ever be said Living from a war.

      You nailed a great bit, Jewels made a great insightful comment as we live both sides of war. After the fight..... Peace 50

    • Eiddwen profile image


      7 years ago from Wales

      Hi Micky,

      A great poem that hit the mark.

      You are very very talented and thanks for sharing this with us.

      Take care


    • Mentalist acer profile image

      Mentalist acer 

      7 years ago from A Voice in your Mind!

      It's been found that death is the only way to remember life's grey gardens.;)

    • Pamela N Red profile image

      Pamela N Red 

      7 years ago from Oklahoma

      Very moving letting us see a glimpse of the tragedy that war brings to the innocent.

    • aguasilver profile image

      John Harper 

      7 years ago from Malaga, Spain

      Hi Micky, no trite remarks, just a sincere recognition that you hit the mark with this prose.

      Thank you,


    • profile image

      Fay Paxton 

      7 years ago

      You paid me back. Now there's something in my eye...and Sam Cooke didn't help.

      Up and awesome.

    • profile image

      Micky Dee 

      7 years ago

      God bless you all. Thank you for your beautiful hearts.

    • MartieCoetser profile image

      Martie Coetser 

      7 years ago from South Africa

      Micky Dee, my dearest friend, I see you in this poem with your soul in your hands, mourning the damages done to it by extremely cruel brains. The so-called intellect of humans is actually the devil himself. We THINK we know how to solve our problems – with wars – and how to feed and take care of our earthy bodies – with money pressed out of others – et cetera. In the meantime we kill our souls and the souls of others. Micky, please cuddle that beautiful (though bruised and hurting) soul of yours. Don’t kill it with your own cruel mind.

      Let’s go for a ride into the woods and smell the ice-scented air and all the pureness of nature, until we once again know that breathing and loving is actually the most precious and only divine opportunity Life/God offers to us in abundance.

      Peace, hugs and love from my heart to yours.

    • SomewayOuttaHere profile image


      7 years ago from TheGreatGigInTheSky

      "These children walked with us. They played as children play."...Micky, i can't even imagine......

      ...yor an amazing writer...from the soul...i'm usually in awe when i read what you have to touch me deep........

    • zzron profile image


      7 years ago from Houston, TX.

      God bless you brother, I love ya. Thanks for your service. Your a hero in my book buddy :)

    • Darlene Sabella profile image

      Darlene Sabella 

      7 years ago from Hello, my name is Toast and Jam, I live in the forest with my dog named Sam ...

      Oh my darlin mick, I remember the day I died as well many time over. I feel your pain as your words where mine. We are the lost souls, the lost sheep that was not seen...are hearts are broken and yes I know your pain. Yet, I am one of your friends, and I love you and will come back again and again. There are NO words to express to you how I feel right now. I am crying for you and maybe for me as well. rate up love & peace in your heart dar

    • vietnamvet68 profile image


      7 years ago from New York State

      Micky those horrors of war stay with us until we die, sometimes they can be unbearable but we push on. I know that feeling so well. Resat easy brother man and may you find that Peace.This is a beautiful emotional Poem

      God Bless Micky

    • Micky Dee profile imageAUTHOR

      Micky Dee 

      7 years ago

      You're very insightful Jewels! God bless.

    • Jewels profile image


      7 years ago from Australia

      You could be speaking of war or the path of any man who's life is his own war. The gift of a poet is to be able to get a person into the writers shoes.

      Loved it. Thank you for writing it.

    • Micky Dee profile imageAUTHOR

      Micky Dee 

      7 years ago

      Thank you Elizabeth99.

      God bless you Lady Guinevere.

      Yes Will Starr. This is a very true story that happened near the Rock Pile(near the DMZ, Cam Lo, LZ Stud area). The truck that was rolling behind the sweepers hit a mine. God bless.

    • WillStarr profile image


      7 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona

      Was this a real event Micky? I suspect it was. If so, how horrible.

      In any case, it's the sort of sad sentiment I've heard many times over the years from veterans of wars.

      Up and beautifully written.

    • Lady Guinevere profile image

      Debra Allen 

      7 years ago from West By God

      OMG, that was wonderful and so intense and emotional. I voted it up awesome and beautiful my friend.

    • Elizabeth99 profile image


      7 years ago from Milwaukee, WI

      Good rhyme scheme and format. I really enjoyed this it was very touching. Good job :)


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