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THE LONG GREEN

Not much green there, my friends,
just shell chopped trees and splintered scrub
where young lead scouts got prematurely old
and the stink of death by old bloodstains -
hovering by the cratered plains.

Short fused mines and punji pits in the maze
of hard packed tracks and hot sun miles,
where taut young faces seldom smiled -
pounding hearts and the smell of fear
never forgotten if you've been there.

Shimmering heat and awful thirst on long patrols
where booby-traps sat and patient smiled -
waiting for the careless touch of flesh,
and bits of a mate all fluttering down
in the whine of steel and awful sounds.

Each minute an eternity in the Long Green
with every man counting the moments
when the helicopters would come to lift us
from the clutch of your dreadful hands -
shell-shocked trees and widow-making sands

John A. Moller
Whiskey Two Company RNZIR

 

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