Farm boys who could fix anything,

shoot whatever moved,

Apaches who could track Charlie anywhere,

Philippinos born in the jungle

who already knew about machetes and garrotes,

Puerto Ricans, headbands inked

with “Viva Puerto Rico Libre,”

who could carry M-16’s but couldn’t vote no,

felons wanting out of jail

to kill for pay and cheap boom boom,

lifer sergeants in air conditioned bunkers

with stolen generators for sale,

Aussies itching to hunt more gooks,

mercenaries after big bonuses,

national guardsmen holding down the draft,

clerks keeping records for generals

eager to write military history,

ghetto whites and ghetto blacks

scrawny enough to coil

through booby trapped tunnels,

eighteen year olds marching

in uneven cadence to John Philip Sousa

for jobs they would never work,

waking years later with bombshell bellies,

blue tracers streaking towards them

into nightmare bunkers just before dawn



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