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Be careful what you wish for

Peter Duggan Avatar Peter Duggan - LIFETIME Premium Member Peter Duggan - Premium MemberPremium Member Send Soup Mail Go to Poets Blog Block poet from commenting on your poetry

Below is the poem entitled Be careful what you wish for which was written by poet Peter Duggan. Please feel free to comment on this poem. However, please remember, PoetrySoup is a place of encouragement and growth.

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Be careful what you wish for

Now here is the story of a restless young man
Who dreamed of fighting in South Vietnam.
He’d learned about war in the comics he’d read
And he knew in his heart that for this he’d been bred.
As soon as it came up, the lads eighteenth year
He went off to enlist for an army career.

He saw some old major and he sat for some tests
Then the  shrink and the doctor saw him with the rest
Of those gallant young fellows that wanted to fight
And give to their country the force of their might.
When all this was over it was late in the day
So feeling elated he for home made his way.

About two weeks later a letter arrived
And reading it’s message his spirits raised high.
For he’d been accepted a soldier he’d be
And the feel of the message did fill him with glee.
He had to front up in a couple of days
And then for Kapooka he’d be on his way.

Ten weeks in Kapooka it taught him a lot
He learned to make war and leave bodies to rot.
He was taugh how all commies just murdered and lied
And that he and his country had God on their side.
And that no sacrifice could be too great to make
And it’s an honour to die for a great country’s sake.

His training all over he joined a Platoon
He’d made Infanteer he’d be fighting soon.
It was off to corp training to learn even more
About all of the goodies that go with a war.
He kept seeing his image all tough, mean and strong
For he was a fighter and this was his song.

It was just eight months later that his posting came through
He was off to the jungles, his dream had come true.
Well his plane soon arrived at that sad Nui Dat
Where he first heard the guns as their missiles they spat.
He was fearful at first but he soon became calm
These guns were on his side they’d do him no harm

A month or two later he’s out on patrol
As tail end Charley He’s playing the role
They were deep in the scrub with peace all around
 Then the air came alive with this terrible sound.
He felt himself falling “Lord is this a dream”
He asked as he heard he his God awful scream.

He lay there not hurting but sensing the worst
As he felt all around where his stomach had burst.
Where once it was firm gaped a warn sticky hole
It seemed that again war had taken it’s toll.
It seemed like a nightmare, a terrible dream
As the medic assured him that it weren’t like it seemed.

He sensed the black silence and quickened with fear
For man stands alone when his end it be clear. 
Then something within him gave way to great peace
As his wisdom did whisper that all things must cease.
Then the great mother came, took him gently away
From that place of man’s anger where a body did lay.

A true story of a friend of mine who died in Vietnam written in 1975....Peter

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  1. Date: 7/23/2014 9:45:00 AM
    Peter: A heartfelt story about a long lost friend, a sad but true tale about the reality of war. Jerry

    Duggan Avatar Peter Duggan
    Date: 7/23/2014 3:46:00 PM Block poet from commenting on your poetry


    Thank you Jerry. this is my first attempt at Poetry. I left the army soon after writing this...I appreciate you comments my friend, and thanks for reading....peter
  1. Date: 6/25/2014 9:04:00 PM
    A truly magnificent write my friend!!!! Congrats on your win. One of my best friends, now gone , was a Vietnam war veteran and he told me the story of his best friend's death there. Tough SOB AND HE HAD TEARS IN HIS EYES AS HE TOLD ME!

    Duggan Avatar Peter Duggan
    Date: 6/26/2014 5:16:00 AM Block poet from commenting on your poetry


    Hi Robert. I thank you for your kind comments. Jock was a nineteen year old Scottish boy who came to Aus and signed up to go to Vietnam. He was a great guy. I remember running neck to neck with him and just beating him in the five mile run. that was the last time i saw him. Thanks for your letters, my friend, I will write later....peter
  1. Date: 6/25/2014 4:01:00 PM
    Peter, this is such an awesome write about a painful tragedy. I am sorry for this great loss while I salute you for this brilliant write. Congratulations on your top win! Warmest regards, my friend.

    Duggan Avatar Peter Duggan
    Date: 6/25/2014 5:33:00 PM Block poet from commenting on your poetry


    Hi Pandita, It is so nice of you to visit my poems, and make your wonderful comments, I truly appreciate this, my friend....Peter
  1. Date: 6/25/2014 3:46:00 PM
    Peter! Such tragedy put in such beautiful form.. I think many dreamed of the grandeur of wars to meet the same end.. Very sad about your friend.. Congrats on a fine win with this important write.. Hugs.. Arlene

    Duggan Avatar Peter Duggan
    Date: 6/25/2014 5:38:00 PM Block poet from commenting on your poetry


    Hi Arlene, forty five years have passed by since this guy died, but I can still see his face as he told me how wonderful it was to be serving his country. He was nineteen years old when he died,. He came to Australia from Scotland and joined up straight away. I appreciate your kind comments, my friend....peter
  1. Date: 6/25/2014 1:42:00 PM
    Very well written, Peter! Took me along with you from beginning to end. Wars are detestable. Congrats on your fine win. // paul

    Duggan Avatar Peter Duggan
    Date: 6/25/2014 3:43:00 PM Block poet from commenting on your poetry


    I thank you so much Paul, I found this out the hard way. I hate wars, that's why I write this stuff, a lot of kids think that war is wonderful, they don't know. I appreciate your kind comments, my friend
  1. Date: 6/25/2014 1:41:00 PM
    such a detailed painting of a story well told,peter.. sweet congrats!.. huggs

    Duggan Avatar Peter Duggan
    Date: 6/25/2014 3:44:00 PM Block poet from commenting on your poetry


    Thank you so much Nette. your kind comments are music to my ears. I appreciate....peter
  1. Date: 6/19/2013 1:00:00 AM
    WOW,,,, this is very, very , awesome, for a minute I thought this was "you" but if he went off to heaven , then it's not you. Unless you are mixing stories like I sometimes do. I think I'll put in fav's ;} And thank you Peter for liking my Glossy Blooms fairies ;} You might like my Lost Boys" take care Peter ;}

    Duggan Avatar Peter Duggan
    Date: 6/19/2013 5:20:00 AM Block poet from commenting on your poetry


    No Debbie it wasn't about me, but about a bloke who joined up with me. he had been in Oz for three months before he joined the army, and he loved it. but he stepped on a mine Thanks heaps for your comments Peter
  1. Date: 6/17/2013 11:10:00 AM
    WISH .., I could write like you!

    Duggan Avatar Peter Duggan
    Date: 6/17/2013 2:31:00 PM Block poet from commenting on your poetry


    And I wish I could write like you; that's the only way I can write, it's how it comes out. thank you very much for your comments
  1. Date: 6/17/2013 10:58:00 AM
    Hi Peter, wow , what a story about the young man, i would never want my sons to wish or enlist with such a career... but each person is their own. Your poem is very good, and I enjoyed taking my time to read the poem. The ending is sad. , hope your enjoyed your weekend. take care <3 <3 luv* ~ SKAT ~

    Duggan Avatar Peter Duggan
    Date: 6/17/2013 2:34:00 PM Block poet from commenting on your poetry


    And I would never want my grandchildren to join the armed forces either. Skat, that man in my story was only nineteen, and had just emigrated to Oz three months earlier. I would make the bloody politicians fight their own wars, that way all wars would end LOL thanks for your comments Peter
  1. Date: 6/16/2013 8:26:00 PM
    Very gripping. I read to the last word. SuZ

    Duggan Avatar Peter Duggan
    Date: 6/16/2013 8:43:00 PM Block poet from commenting on your poetry


    Thanks a heap Suz as usual I appreciate what you write