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One Day at B Med

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Below is the poem entitled One Day at B Med which was written by poet John Smith. Please feel free to comment on this poem. However, please remember, PoetrySoup is a place of encouragement and growth.

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One Day at B Med

Litter bearers burst unexpectedly 
in with a casualty.  Sergeant Lindsey 
grabs one pole end, then BOOM!, the roof and rear
end of our frail little hooch disappear.  

A swirl of black, smokey blue sky I see.  
He lays prone a sprawl the deck, red bubbly 
blood oozes out his neck.  His wild wide eyes 
flit frantically then fade and fast he dies.  

He was the best of us.  But our stunned grief,  
"He has a wife and daughter!" is cut brief;
interrupted by a noisy dust-off 
while it 'whop-whops' one more furtive drop off: 

seven men who reek of blood and battle.  
Twenty Howitzers BOOM! out their rattle. 
They make it hard to tell whose BOOMS! are whose.  
I'm still here; to worry's of little use.

We improvise; our hooch still sort of stands.  
I pause to take stock and steady my hands;  
steel myself: act indifferent, yet kind.  
Tears could cloud my eyes, let alone my mind.  


'B Med' - Company B (Medical): army medical unit in the 173rd Support Battalion at LZ English, 'Landing Zone English,' an US army base with airstrip in Viet Nam named for a dead soldier.  
Hooch -  Building of stacked, dirt-filled, wood ammunition boxes; sand bags and corrugated tin roof 
Lindsey, Dennis Paul -  born 4/18/46, KIA 11/11/69; from Milford, MIchigan
'Dust-off' - slang term for medical evacuation helicopter; also, commonly called a 'Medivac.' 

Copyright © John Smith

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  1. Date: 1/16/2012 5:24:00 PM
    back to this one I know you are so proud of and rightfully so. Hi, JOhn!

  1. Date: 12/14/2011 5:20:00 AM
    Oh Jeez, this was a horrific reminder to all of us safe on U.S. shores. I had husband, two brothers, and an uncle (WWII, Germany) in the military, No one can know who hasn't been there. Thanks for commenting on my retirement, Boss man. Nola

  1. Date: 11/26/2011 8:22:00 AM
    This is great poem and an interesting topic too. Enjoyed it but felt for dear Lindsey!

  1. Date: 11/14/2011 8:51:00 AM
    Hi John, this account of the battle reads as it was, of that i'm sure. you bring home the profoundness, and the horror, and heart wrenching poems as good as this should be recorded in the annals of time. thank you for your welcome information on veterans day in th U.S harry

  1. Date: 11/13/2011 8:53:00 PM
    War is such an awful thing, insanity can sometimes bring, like my cousin the zippo man, who burnt the huts the squealing and, came home and shot himself... poor John was Vietnam.

  1. Date: 11/12/2011 9:09:00 PM
    Hi, there, john. I've never been involved with finding a Xmas tree in the wild but it's nice to imagine it. I wonder if you have any poems I've not seen. I'll take a quick skim!! How are you?

  1. Date: 11/9/2011 12:50:00 PM
    John, the TV show MASH always made me uncomfortable because of all the blood that was shed by soldiers. You picked a very powerful topic on which to write and you surely got your point across. Love from an old peacenick, Carolyn

  1. Date: 11/9/2011 12:34:00 PM
    Powerful write, John. And with a very interesting glossary too

  1. Date: 11/9/2011 7:27:00 AM
    Thank you for sharing a part of yourself with us through your poetry John. I enjoyed reading your writing today. Love, Carol

  1. Date: 11/9/2011 7:16:00 AM
    'Tears could cloud my eyes, let alone my mind'.... great job John.

  1. Date: 11/8/2011 11:42:00 PM
    I really like it and the editing wow. (heehee) This is superb expression of that tragic day, John. I like how you redid the final line a lot!