Olive Drab

They drafted me in 1969
to fight their fear of yellow men and Communism.
I quickly forgot how my girlfriend tasted
and learned the smell of melting flesh.

When they ordered me to take the point
I led us through the jungle.
When they told me to clear an underground bunker
I grabbed someone's .45, prayed with a flashlight.
But the first time in base camp
when commanded to clean the latrine
I told the nearest sergeant, "My father's a janitor.
I won't die dumping barrels of shit in Southeast Asia."

They never asked me again.

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