War Heart

When “Uncle Sam” called me into service at the beginning of the Vietnam War, I saw many young men who were lost, bewildered, lonely and frightened…and those were the ones who showed those emotions.

Most men, of course, didn’t show them because they were ‘men,’ I suppose.  That is inbred in most, I believe.  Anyway, whenever on base, before or after deployment, ever so often, even the more meek would venture out into the local social arena, to hopefully escape, if only for a few hours, the pressure and fear of the war.

War Heart

The night was young and I had nothing to do
so I put on my civies and, out of the blue,
came a knock on my door and there stood, Joe.
He said, ‘wacha doin? and I said ‘I’m goin to town’
“Right,” he said…… saying it, jokingly, in frown.

For I seldom left the barracks on a weekday night
and he was sure I was kidding and he thought he was right.
But I heard someone talking about a girl in a club
and how good she was at singing and playing her guitar
so I had made up my mind to go down to the bar.

Joe couldn’t make it and I headed for the bus
and the snow on the ground was cold , plus,
I had a thin jacket on cause that’s all I had
but I wanted to see her since my feelings were down
and frostbite risk, or not, I was going to town.

The bar-club was swanky but the cover crowd was thin
and I entered into darkness, smelling vodka and gin,
as I followed the hostess to a table by the stage
and got my first look at her, as she tuned her guitar
barely hearing the hostess say ‘ what do you want from the bar?’

With darkened room, she glistened in the light
in her dress of black and her boots of white
and sang many folk songs of passion and love,
while stealing my heart and taking it away
and making me ready for another day.

I still see her smile, all these years gone by
and miss too, her songs, that brought a tear to my eye
while remembering the memories when she eased my path
during those years of loneliness when I was away from home
when the war-heart was beating wildly…… frightened and alone.

copyright © 2012 T.J. Gargano


Filed under heart

7 responses to “War Heart

  1. Jane Thorne

    Oh Tom x

    • thomag1

      Not that many things come to my mind to write about and the few things that do are never earth-shattering and I would rather stay upbeat but not all of life is upbeat….thanks for dropping by, Jane.


      • Jane Thorne

        I understand about staying upbeat and you are absolutely right Tom not all of life is upbeat..this post struck such a chord with me as my first husband fought in the Rhodesian bush war and upon reading your post I was surprised to find that those echoes were as clear today as they were then x

      • thomag1

        You know, Jane, I think they are….war is horrible on the news; it is frightening horrible to a young man who is trained to defend himself for only one reason….it does affect those who live directly in the path of the sword. I’m sorry if I made you sad.


      • Jane Thorne

        It’s OK you didn’t make me sad Tom, it just took me by surprise that the memories from my late teenage years were that clear still…indelible marks on the heart aren’t they? x

      • thomag1

        They are indelible……they made a part of our lives…..the final tabulations will be not about what we wanted to do; they will be about what we did….the good and the bad….the deeds and the mistakes….but, hey, I’m glad I’m still alive with the possibility to make more mistakes and likewise, do more deeds. I like you, Jane. I know you’ve done great…….you have a daughter….that is great! C ya.


      • Jane Thorne

        😀 Life is for living Tom and we are doing that!

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