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Archive for the ‘war’ Category

MEMORY

5/7/11

Copyright 2011 Gordon Kuhn

Poet in the Rain

Ghosts came walking late last night.

They came when the shadows had melted,

Melted and blended into a dark canopy.

When all about me the world was more than still.

Still more than quiet and deeper than I could ever tell,

Or share with you the peace that came about me to stay.

How it came to fold me in its arms and kept me throughout the night that way,

When the ghosts, so well known to me, came walking last night.

They have stood close now for forty-six years, so there was no cause for fright,

We all were so clear in each the other’s sight, so close we might

Touch one another——and did, and wrapped our arms about each in greeting;

In greeting, as the mists of distance fell away, and time melted and fell away.

And, we were as we once had been, on a beach of sand in another land.

Then, in brotherhood, I reached out and shook each man’s warm hand,

As tears came, for my heart was full and breaking, and it could not remain       still;

For, I then recalled, it was the anniversary of our blood brotherhood

When they came walking and talking to my heart of hearts.

They then found an opening to my soul to which they brought cleansing tears,

And were able to wash away the pain I’d lived with for so many years.

Then dawn came upon us and broke the fragile spell and left me with this        memory to try to tell;

Of the anniversary when their ghosts came walking in the night,

And were so close I could touch each one and hear their voices,

And we spoke of life’s choices and I knew the day is not too far distant

When the Ghosts will come walking and take me from this place,

To be forever with them where the land meets the sky and the sea.

For, in time, that is where we shall all be, the ghosts, you and me

Where memories of the real leave for the living more than a trace,

A haunting trace of what was once and is now called memory.

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AN IMPORTANT ANNIVERSARY

Today, 5/7/2011 is the anniversary of the landing of the First Marine Brigade, Third Marine Division at Chu Lai, S. Vietnam.  It is also the day I spoke for the very first time to the younger sister of a fellow United States Marine (Ivan Ray Smith) who died at Chu Lai, 46 years ago, cut down by a sniper’s bullet. I have hunted for his family ever since 1965. I have kept a candle lit for both him and for another Marine buddy who died at Hue.

I sat on the phone this morning with tears streaming speaking with someone I’ve searched for, for over 46 years and shared with her the details of  Smitty’s (Ivan’s) last moments alive.

Smitty, and others, walk with me in close memory every day from waking to falling asleep.

Today, I found some peace. Today, something healed a bit, not that it will ever be completely healed, but part of the scars were cleansed from my soul.

Thank you, fellow United States Marine and Veteran of the 5/7/65 landing, Bill Nourse for bringing United States Marine Ivan Ray Smith’s younger sister, Sherry Heagy, and I together on the phone. Thank you for helping bring to an end a search of 46 years. Thank you for helping to heal all three of us.  Now my job tonight is to  contact several of my friends who made that landing with us so many years ago this night and say, “Where were you on 5/7/1965?”  Semper Fi to any Marine who reads this and Welcome Home to all

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