A letter in my mailbox
with instructions in it said,
you're going to war in Vietnam,
my blood ran cold with dread.
I gave the letter to my mum,
she fell down to her knees,
next you know, I was in the jungle,
lead flying through the trees.
The crack and thump the bullets made,
electrified my core,
for a minute it made me feel alive,
and left me wanting more.
But that feeling didn't last for long,
For suddenly it came true,
that I wasn't on, no training ex
where I'd always make it through.
For when the guns drew silent,
and the battle smoke went down,
the screaming men in agony,
replaced the jungles sound.
Just when I thought, things couldn't get worse
we struck a downward pour.
The ringing in my ears replaced,
by natures sudden roar.
A new foe just took over the old,
the heat, the bugs and rain,
Mosquitoes feast upon my neck,
wet boots they cause me pain.
As days to weeks and weeks to months,
and death becomes the norm
what keeps pushing me on each day
is to see my mum once more,
A part of me will never leave,
for life, I'll have this gun.
Although my heart is ripped to shreds,
my duty here is done.

7th April 2015

CPL Elena Rowland

Lest We Forget

Webmaster's note: Cpl Rowland is a dental nurse in Brisbane and is working
with the RARA and other groups to address homeless soldiers.