Enemy | Poetry | Hudson Valley | Chronogram Magazine

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Last Updated: 08/13/2013 3:33 pm

i raged on in the summers, believing the war
would still be going strong so i could kill me
some of those enemies.  That was in ‘68,
i was ten. By ‘71, at 13, i’d seen enough
pictures of the enemy to have them resemble
people.  i can to this day recall the encapsulating
emotion when first seeing that picture of the scared
Vietnamese child running toward the camera
with that massive Tet flame wall falling up,
chasing. i didn’t know a person could
run that fast with that much fear hanging from
their face.

i, at ten, didn’t know war so brutal.
i, at ten, thought you just killed the enemy.

An afternoon walk to the post office handed me
a draft registration.  It stayed there. I at seventeen
walked home, stood in the bathroom retracing
an image in the mirror, that scared child being chased,
running from that massive flame wall_____.
...feeling like the enemy...

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