Upon Seeing the Face of Just One Vietnamese Girl

Those faces…they linger
Like ghosts in some long lost place
That only God knows
That only I wish
I could forget

They flash back
Like sun on silver
Like lost pennies found
Washed up on some beach
After finding their bottom
Only to return to where they started

Where with bent backs
They culled and hoed their rice
Working as though tomorrow
Wouldn’t come unless they gave
All they had and more
Yes more, even their lives

And in one lonely girl’s blank face
I saw all that 38 years could never forget
In her eyes there reflected
So many young men
Lost, hoping to find a moment’s peace
That would take it all back
All 18 months they barely lived
Till the day they die

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This entry was posted in Don Iannone, Poem about Vietnam and tagged , by Don Iannone. Bookmark the permalink.

About Don Iannone

Don Iannone is a poet, writer, teacher and photographer who lives in the Greater Cleveland area. He has worked in the economic development field for over 35 years. Don is the author of three poetry books and five photography books. He is working on a short book of photographs and poems about human trafficking. This work was exhibited at six venues in Ohio. Don holds an M.A. degree in Art and Consciousness Studies from the University of Philosophical Research in Los Angeles, where he teaches writing. His educational background also includes studies in Anthropology, Photography, Organizational Behavior, and Economic Development. Don’s website: http://www.donaldiannone.com Wisdom Work Press: https://wisdomworkpress.wordpress.com

11 thoughts on “Upon Seeing the Face of Just One Vietnamese Girl

  1. very powerful! 2 of my uncles were marines there. Right after the war, thousands of Vietnamese were brought to Fort Chaffee, near us, and many still live here. A daily remnant.

  2. I wonder.. how men can do this to fellow men? even animals r not that vicious and yet we call ourselves civilized!

  3. Meena: We all know how and actually why. We call it war because our even our ugliest side requires a name. That doesn’t change it–that we put it into words. It’s inside all of us; it just expresses itself in varied ways. Thanks for stopping by.

  4. Well know yes.. but still is hard to accept.. but much more torture happens at home… and no one cares…

  5. I hear what you’re saying, Meena. I look at Black on Black crime in Cleveland’s inner city, wife and child abuse, adult children taking advantage of their elderly parents and so on, I know what you mean. Thanks again.

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