The Last Flight of the Virgin Soldier

by Jerry Kahn


Circling forever through the dulled grey skies of Viet Nam’s Monsoon Season

Green Skinned Birds of Death Fed upon the Blood of Enemy Soldiers

Below Black Clad Figures Running along a rice paddy dike as if the devil himself were near

A flurry of words on the intercom: "Enemy with weapons at 10 o’clock" "got em" "fire"

Only eighteen but today I must kill

I feel my finger squeeze the trigger as I swing the gun around (as if watching myself)

As the merry go round of death begins

Brass wrapped hell rains down to kill the first of many

Two, three, four hundred rounds leap out and a body crumbles like a broken doll in a pool of blood

the survivor still running toward a hooch and still I fire

Rockets now join in exploding through walls, roofs and trees like lightening thundering through the skies

The firing stops


The smoke clears

Not a word is spoken

Movement below

Once more my body tenses, my finger curls around the trigger . . .

Rocket sight down and system armed

Outside the hooch a women sits cradling her child in her arm while the other hangs limp and bloody by her side

Looking up, staring, staring at me

The intercom shatters the silence "These things happen in war"

As we break orbit and flee the scene to be welcomed into the Brotherhood of Death

No longer the Virgin Soldier

Copyright, Jerry Kahn, All Rights Reserved


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