By Dale Andrews
Homeless Vet’s, Sidewalk sleeping,
under bridges and city streets,
tossing and turning,
on cardboard mattresses
under newspaper bed-sheets,
wet, cold, curb black snow
dreaming of a cold dumpster,
nightmare breakfast, first eaten by first ladies
the night before as fine dining.
never whining, or even talking
to no one who knows to listen
Brave, young soldiers
trained by the best, ready anxious to kill
or die, for Mom America and Apple pie.
So long ago, Home Sweet Home
where the heart is warm by the fireplace
under the cedar tree, joy, laughing, loving, family
Childhood over so fast,
America, Welcome Home
Brothers bathed in blood,
Crying, dying in our arms,
bombed napalmed babies
of the enemy and friendlies,
screaming so loudly they’re
heard throughout infamy
from empathy we built The Wall
back home near Arlington, where
Fallen and Unknown Soldiers
from all wars spend eternity.
Their stories written on
crinkled paper bed-sheets,
complete with death pictures
in living color,
tell of a new War on TERROR, lasting terror
like in all wars, repeat blood, bomb, blunders
leaving amputees, filling VA hospital beds
Discharged with whiskey money,
broken Hero’s with piles of pills,
and Purple Heart pins,
new shiny legs to stand on
until no longer being able to
stand the flashbacks.
Years on years, of ringing ears
hurting heads and hurting hearts,
of loved ones wondering where
and how we are, Fearless rage even
jails and shelters can’t contain.
out of money, out in the cold
no one to help, no where to go,
lost lives, lost souls, forgotten soldiers
except in stories, written on newspaper bed-sheets
that no one ever reads.
Copyright 2018 by Dale Andrews
Medic, 1st Infantry Division
U.S. Army Specialist Dale Andrews served our country in the Vietnam War, and received the Bronze Star Medal for valor under fire.