Another long afternoon,

an aging GI stretches along a chaise lounge

on a wooden deck above a meadow

somewhere in the Rockies,

ice cubes melting in a tall glass of Scotch,

his trance held captive by wordless snowcaps

where his hopes used to climb


Another long afternoon,

an old VC wearing a long sharp beard

squats against a tree

inhaling deeply from a bong,

head bowed to grassless ground

outside a hooch by a rice paddy

near Cu Chi, South Vietnam


Each vaguely recalls

being a boy,

one before the Vietnam War,

the other before the American War,

each sucking on a peace agreement

of his own making


In 1969 neither one knew history

would paint this portrait of two enemies

bleeding to death so slowly in the same way