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Only the good die young

Only the good die young

At the age of nine,

lying in the children's ward.

Rheumatic fever,

burning though me.

Nuns and Doctors come and go,

tending a full ward of eight boys.

Across from me lay a new boy,

no more than five years old.

Sadly for he had survived,

his family fire.

All day long crying between moans,

begging for his mother.

Nuns being quiet but still they knew,

he would be with his mother tonight.

Waking up to chaos,

Doctors, Nuns and our priest. 

At four o'clock that fateful morning,

I learned my first lesson.

Only the good die young.


 Years reel by,

a young man filled with doubts.

On watch for 'Charlie',

dreaming of tall snow drifts.

But waking to another day,

of hellish heat.

Sitting on a bunk,

marking a black X.

One less day till my return,

back to home and family.

Noise of Hueys coming and going,

brings one back to here.

A fine coat of dust covers everything,

your nose and throat.

Going though the daily paces,

Receiving boxes of ammo

for bags of mail.

The Huey waiting,

for the final exchange.

Three green boys, 

for our five brothers.

All dressed in black bags.

Standing there,

with the dust swirling.

I look into their eyes,

more lambs for slaughter.

 As I walk away remembering,

lessons learned.

Only the good die young.


This story is protected by International Copyright Law, by the author, all rights reserved. If found posted anywhere other than with this note attached, it has been posted without my permission.

Copyright © 2010-2020 Carl Riley (Fuzzy1954)- All rights reserved- This material may not be reproduced, displayed, modified, distributed, copied in part or its entirely without prior permission from the author.

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