dragged, screaming from
her darkened home
into the glaring light
of the battlefield.
Masked men with knives
take her away. She will never, ever return.
Covered with blood, her wrinkled body is placed
with others of her kind,
as she shrieks in
terror and hunger
through toothless gums.
Unable to speak our language, she cries,
and sleeps.
She is delivered to the Masters. We will indoctrinate
in our ways. When
she has learned the lessons,
will be released. Congratulations! It's a girl!

*     *     *
The author: Harold Cockson served in the Corps from Sept. 1966–Sept. 1968, with Whiskey Battery 2nd Bn., 11th Marines in Vietnam 67–68; Hill 63, BLT 3/1—Cua Viet River, Camp Carroll, Ca Lu. After that BLT went to Phu Loc, then
An Hoa. Currently he is Senior Planning Specialist with
Nebraska Public Power District (26 years).
Zen-and-now pix of the author.

>>>  Poetry Page
>>>  Memoir Page
While on boot camp leave (Dec. 1966), a wedding was decided for 11 March '67 at Camp LeJeune. After six weeks of wedded bliss in base housing, I got orders to 'Nam. Then staging, then 12 weeks at Defense Language Institute (Monterey; best duty a Marine ever had), then 'Nam.

Fifteen days after landing at Hill 63, I was on my first day of mess duty. That night I got a message from the Red Cross that I'd become a dad (daughter, delivered by C-section).

I'd already been mortared a couple times by then, but had no clue what lay in store with NVA arty up by the DMZ in months to come.  

We'll be married 40 years in March 2007.
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .