Tay Ninh

 

A war-wise monkey roped to a pole

near the rutted dirt tracks

in front of our hooch

spit if you edged too close

without an apple slice or peanut

 

Base camp mutts charged it,

leapt out of range to dodge

gravel and mud clods

the tiny imp aimed artfully

at their heads and eyes

 

It chattered in defiance as if

chuckling at their vicious barks

by stuffing hardened bread crusts

up its ass

 

We felt that way too, draftees,

about people back home

on their broad bottoms

in front of our two minute bit

on the evening news, tethered

as we were, straining on our leashes

to get back at them and we did

whenever we could

 

Taught their kids and grandkids

about pot and bongs,

siph, herpes and head lice,

flashbacks, tinnitus and foot rot,

brought home truth to the liars,

disdain for the flag

 

Some called it the 60’s

We called it our GI’s bill