The VGP Flashback No. 1


He was nineteen
dying in a field
in a foreign land.
That was all he knew.
He wasn’t feeling brave
but only afraid
as he felt the life
slipping out of him.

He didn’t know who was right
or who was wrong
as they argued about it
in the grocery stores
in the newspapers
at the filling stations
and he lay dying
in this field of green.

He didn’t feel as if it were an honor to die
he didn’t feel dignified
or proud,
just scared,
a boy longing for home.

He didn’t know anything now
just the pain;
he wasn’t thinking about bleeding-heart liberals
or staunch conservatives
only about all the things he wouldn’t see
he wouldn’t do in his life
now that it would all be over so soon.


“Nineteen” was written by Mitchell Waldman and appeared in the Virgogray Press chapbook anthology, America Remembered (2011).

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