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.
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.