March 30, 1973– Welcome Home

i remember
nobody wanted to go
but you did
instead of going to canada
or taking a college deferment
or joining the national guard
your daddy drove a truck
had nobody to pull strings

i remember that you enlisted
before graduation
shipped off without a party
or a big damn hullabaloo
went off to visit ho chi minh
with a m16 & a ka bar strapped
to your side

i remember you still had pimples
on your face and favored aqua velva
and double bubble when you left
you returned
without a party
a thank you
or go to hell

–well maybe you did get that

but
i remember you came back silent
carrying other scars
the ones hidden deep inside
like family secrets
most cutting too deep to ever heal

today
i learned that congress declared
30 march welcome home
vietnam veterans day
38 goddamn years too late
so here’s your party mac
sorry you didn’t
live to see it but the guilt
is now washed clean
and ain’t that something

march 30, 2011

–scot young

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3 Responses to “March 30, 1973– Welcome Home”

  1. How I can relate to this, Scot! The scars of that war just don’t leave and you said it so well in your poem. And yes, that welcome, way too late!

  2. Welcome back to “The World,” and “Xin Loi Boys”… more than 40 years late… the yellow ribbon has long since rotted in the rain… and so it goes

    Thanks for posting this one Scot.

  3. This poem has heart.
    It speaks to what one losses in war, and made more so, in the case of Vietnam, by the homecoming.
    I have read many Vietnam based poems, and this one speaks loudly.

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