Table of Contents

Draft Notice

Hometown Hero

Uncle Herb

Jumping Ship


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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Jumping Ship

That morning at chow
rumors float like jettisoned debris.
Psycho Man leaped over the railing
sometime after midnight
on the way to the ship's brig,
handcuffs straining against
blood and bone,
plunging feet first
into the cold, black sea.
Each time one of the MPs
threw him a life preserver
he pushed it away.
For a few minutes
he was in the spotlight,
bobbing up and down
like an unsinkable cork
before being sucked
into the ship's propellers.

That afternoon while searching
in circles for the P Man,
we listen to Hanoi Hannah
on a shortwave receiver.
She knows we're coming,
knows our troop strength,
knows the names of our officers,
predicts how many of us will die
in the coming year.

Later, like derelicts huddled
around a bonfire, we listen to
The Lakers play Philadelphia
from The Sports Arena,
Jerry and Elgin
against Hal and Wilt,
a game we understand.

Copyright 2002 by Victor H. Bausch - ALL RIGHTS RESERVED