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SEVEN ON THE WIRE

Seven dead on the wire, boss,
the lead scout called,
on a hot sun day
by Bien Hoa’s rim,
and all the sound and fury
of the night before
still closing in.

Seven dead on the wire, boss,
and the clearing patrol
averting their eyes
from the awful sight,
and gagging at the stench
pungent in the dawning air,
hovering on the barbs blood-bright.

Seven dead on the wire, boss,
here, tie that rope
around what’s left
and tow them down the track -
dig a hole and roll them in
no bugle calls or solemn hymns,
just soft boot-falls and silence
closing in.

John A. Moller
Whiskey Two Company RNZIR

 

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