Tuesday Poem

To understand war you have to understand that war is a political tool
meant to terrorize as well as kill. It's an insanity always claiming some
god's sanction—Anon.

To Just Nothing

This is what the war ended up being about:
we would find a V.C. village,
and if we could not capture it
or clear it of Cong,
we called for jets.
The jets would come in, low and terrible,
sweeping down, and screaming,
in their first pass over the village.
Then they would return, dropping their first bombs
that flattened the huts to rubble and debris.
And then the jets would sweep back again
and drop more bombs
that blew the rubble and debris
to dust and ashes.
And then the jets would come back once again,
in a last pass, this time to drop napalm
that burned the dust and ashes to just nothing.
Then the village
that was not a village any more
was our village.

by Corporal Charles Chungtu, U.S.M.C.
from Unaccustomed Mercy
Texas Tech University Press, 1989