Lawrence A. De Graw

NO MAN LEFT BEHIND

Ramberto Rodriguez (Artist): No Man Left Behind
“No Man Left Behind”
Painting ©Copyright 2004 by Ramberto Rodriguez

IWVPA Bronze Helmet Top Poet Award of Excellence - February 2005
“CHECK YOUR ‘SIX’!!!”
,
roars Rock Sergeant Gunny,
with four men midstream
at Dong Ha
‘neath rice cool moon
in a starburst circle
–north • east • south • west–
M-16s blazing out at blunt
omni-directional shadows
in the darkdank brake of jungle—each
midstream while fording ooze of river, and the
muddy meal of earth.
Each step of boot a sloshing push
of forward inching in rough, uneven cadence
through knee-high waters—
with mute crack of twig but
two small clicks to left—
with us like walking wounded
stalking silent shadows
through ford of river,
sluicing loud and rushedly
all around us …
with one fallen comrade
slung heavily over
Gunny’s big shoulder
and the rest in sharp and armored guarding,
remembering always our creed and calling-card,
that
we’d
leave
no man
behind …

in this
the Central Highlands
of our minds …