I died in Vietnam

I don’t know what day, what time, what killed me.

I didn’t know I died.

No blood spilled.

No pain screamed.

No medic came.

No NVA bullet touched me.

No shrapnel broke my skin.

Jungle rot? Yes, to the bone on both shins

but Qua Viet’s salty seas healed soft and easy skin.

 

I died in Vietnam.

I can name it now—forty-four years later

because I write hard poems recalling the foul film

my five senses seared deep inside my skull.

 

I died in Vietnam.

I used to think I had escaped.

I used to think I had survived.

I didn’t.

Copyright Tim Bagwell

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