Table of Contents

Draft Notice

Hometown Hero

Uncle Herb

Jumping Ship

Unfriendlies

Car Wash

White Mice

Droopy Dawg

The Boot

R & R

Buddy System

Civil War of the Soul

What They Wanted

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Poetry by Victor Henry

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Car Wash

That sweltering summer afternoon in 67
when Ramirez and I take a 5 ton
down to the river
to wash the red dirt
from its banged-up olive drab body.
I leave my M-16 inside the cab
propped against the sandbagged floorboard,
concealed from children
playing in the tepid water nearby.
I enter a crude dwelling
lacking electricity and plumbing,
smell the paraffin odor from a candle stub
on a saucer in the center of the table.
See the hole underneath the bed
surrounding the dirt floor.
A faded photo of Father Ho
tacked upon the wall
of the dimly lit hut
looks down at us.
Together the old ones
pour green tea
into a cracked bowl,
their fingers like frail fans
opening and closing.
I recognize sadness
in the woman's face,
see my mother
at the airport
for the last time
before flying back to Ft. Riley,
my right arm holding her shoulder
as if she's the child,
her mouth downturned,
her heart broken.


Copyright 2002 by Victor H. Bausch - ALL RIGHTS RESERVED