by Mike Bliss
Concrete is hot where he's walking,
the air seems never to have stirred.
He looks at the plane before him
and thinks, "My, what a mighty bird."
Wings are long and its nose is big,
the glass reflects the light.
The Viet Cong have a deadly fear
for this Demon of the Night.
He climbs into the cockpit
and flips some switches on.
What was the gripe again?
The radio is gone?
He hears some scratchy noises
and maybe a beep or two,
the pilot was right this time,
it's a bad '542.
He pulls it out and waits in the shop
then puts the new one in,
he tries it out and it checks good.
Paperwork's turned in,
the plane will fly again tonight
and shed the bombs it carries.
They'll go looking for a likely target:
some trucks, a train or ferry.
And as it flies he sits alone with
thoughts passing through his head.
How many will die when the bombs explode?
How many will be dead?
They must have families just like his,
ones that love them so.
Why should they die? Because of war
and it makes him feel so low.
He doesn't like it, not at all,
and wishes that it would quit.
This bombing and shelling has made
Vietnam a great big worthless pit.
Word came down the other day
that all the fighting has ceased,
his eyes shine wildly as he reads
of prisoners who were released.
They'll all go home to see their wife,
their mother and their dad.
Happiness will fill their hearts again
pushing out the times they had.
Someday the world will live in peace,
the wars will come no more,
brotherly love will cross the land.
we'll learn what love is for.
* * *
The author: Mike Bliss (Sgt., 1970–1976) served with VMA(AW)533 at the Rose Garden, Nam Phong, Thailand 1972–1973. Now an electrician residing in Wichita, Kansas.