Poetry - Tiger Battalion


In sleep I hear a howling wind, and in its pause to rise again,
I try to dream of silver sand, or waves upon some rippled strand;
A red black flash! And I thrash about, in bits of boot 'n bone 'n brain.

Then silence―of a place known well―from just one single step.

Out beyond the wire wall ... beyond the guns of trusted ground,
A place of guts 'n dust 'n gore ... a place of blood 'n smoke 'n hell;
Of red black bangs 'n screams 'n pain ... of bits and pieces cast around.

Of bamboo, earth, and iron rain ... from just one simple footfall.

Among my mates all cast about, I find him there and give the shout,
"Medic here! Hang on mate; dust off's come, you'll make it yet;"
"Don't bullshit me I'm f****d, I'm dead; look at me―my guts is out!"

It wasn't me that took that step, it isn't fair... it's not my shout.

We lift him then, and slide him in, and all agree ... Yes he would win,
We'd saved another, days before, but death now blocks the chopper door;
"I gave you one that time before, I gave you life that time you swore."

"I get my turn, this time I win, we done the deal―I TAKE HIM!"


Robert Cavill
C Company & Assault Pioneers Vietnam 1st Tour

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