William N. Janes, Sr

ON LOSING FRIENDS

A Friend of mine met death today.
With luck, my life was spared.
His family soon will cry and grieve
Not knowing what we shared.

He drew his lot, as did we all
And understood his chances.
He did his job as best he could
No time for second glances.

There is no solace for a friend
Who’s seen another go.
Why him, not me, we ask ourselves
But, no one seems to know.

The hurt sinks in, and then gives way
To what we all must be.
I hate myself for saying this,
Thank God it wasn’t me.

Author’s Note: This poem comes from grief, not pride. It is about life that has to go on, and the shame felt when friends in Vietnam were lost. May God bless them!