SATURDAY NIGHT AND POPCORN

I haven’t been here long enough.

That’s what’s wrong with me.

I still look down

when USO girls bring popcorn

on their way to the officer’s club.

I’m puzzled by the movie

lasered from the bunker

over two dozen young men

on blankets, cushions, lawn chairs,

making their beer ration last.

When the siren goes off,

I scrounge with the others

to the nearest bunker,

huddled, with no weapon.

The sound track growls down.

The projector clicks to black.

It’s a war again, and even then,

someone coughs.

I wait for sappers

to toss canvas bags

into our middle: dead,

age 22, of plastic explosive.

Two MP’s with megaphones

tell us the alert is over,

a chopper flipped on a power line,

pilot and gunner deep fried.

When I’ve been here long enough,

I’ll stay with the others

to finish the movie and popcorn.

I wont go back to the hootch,

cry all night

and listen to a distant carbine

fill my dreams with lead.

 
 
 
 
 

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