My Vietnam

(​To my ex-husband)

You were my Vietnam,

My boot camp,

The journey of beginning war.

It had already been going on,

but you secured my enlistment.

You were “Charlie”

and the day the orphanage was bombed.

You were why I had to intercept these signals…

Decrypt all this mess.

You were why I was flying high,

yet still preparing for takeoff.

You were what made me

Strategic Air Command

godspeeding particles of

Top Secret data.

You were Saigon battlefields

I escaped with two fragile elephants.

You were slaps in the face,

The spit of degradation,

The PTSD of living

A little more every day.

You were the metaphorical cycle

of history repeats in offspring:

My three years overseas,

A prisoner of war

In marriage.

You were my Vietnam.

My decree is honorable Air Force discharge.

Now, I’m free —

To fly like the sergeant’s space cadet

I am.

 

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My Vietnam

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