by Patrick Hayes, ©1999

Dawn was the best
time to launch

The sky, a brilliant glow
of red and yellow hues
blushing The Pearl's
air beneath us
all the way
to the ground

The ground:
so beautiful, green
so beautiful, red
The sky:
so vibrant, 
so deadly

Hear the Dog 
See the Dog:
Fire breathing from it's mouth
Hear the grunt of opposing gravity:
Deafening, lifting up,
deafening all the way up
and on the way to wherever we go

Up, up away from red-clay base, 
a thousand feet up
in no time at all
Another and
another Dog fly upward
to join together
in the sky
like birds in migration

A division of Dogs
in the rising sun of dawn:
A most beautiful sight
as we fly along 
while Vietnam awakens
from another night
to another dawn

*     *     *   
USMC 1964–1968
E-5 Sgt, honorable discharge
HMM-263: 1964 Dominican Republic
                crisis, 1965 LPH Boxer
1st MAW: G-2 Danang, clerk/driver, 1965
HMM-361: Ky Ha & Dong Ha, 1966–1967
VMO-5: Camp Pendleton, 1967
TAD-USAINTS: Fort Holibird, MD, 1967
1stMAW: G-2 photoInterpreter,
              El Toro, 1968  

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Dawn Was The Best