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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Draft Notice

3 May 1966

Late afternoon. Friday.
Sacramento simmers
in hundred degree heat.
Mom greets me,
grim news in her voice,

a sorrow I'd heard
a couple months before
at my father's funeral:
the somber sadness from which
she'd never recovered.

For those fleeting mercurial moments
between life and beyond
I'd held dad in my arms.
Heard his death rattle.
Became the man of the house,

rode in an ambulance,
called a Catholic priest,
dealt with the nightmare.
I see the envelope lying
on the hallway table

shrouded in a winding sheet
bearing my name.
I hear the faint sound
of war drums beating,
imagine my mother sobbing

beside her son's coffin.
The fire and smoke of my life
rise higher and higher.
My fate, a booby trap, detonates,
destroys what's left of my fragile world.


Copyright 2002 by Victor H. Bausch - ALL RIGHTS RESERVED