Pill Line

“They say Vietnam

was the worst

but I think the war

going on now is.”

I’m in the Denver VA’s

pharmacy waiting room

listening to the salty dogs

discuss their wars

& as if it were yesterday

old-timers talk about fragging

officers running scared

from Charlie in the bush

I always catch people staring

either a thousand yards, or at me

being one of the youngest

of put out to pasture killers

No one ever talks about

how it was in the sandstorms

they already know all the stories

been there, done that

The lady behind ballistic glass

asks that my I.D. be slid underneath

gazing at me like the crest of a new wave

in an already blood-dimmed tide

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