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Beside the trail in the A Shau Valley
My team is lined up motionless,
Totally quiet,
Completely awake – ready.
The rain has stopped.
The moon lights the trail
We will ambush tonight.
We each have a Claymore positioned.
We each have three frags lying ready,
And twenty-one magazines,
Thirty rounds each,
And a clear field of fire.
I’m leading this patrol tonight,
This trail is mine.
My men won’t fall asleep
And nothing could escape our kill zone.
We’re ready – we’re psyched.
We’re prepared – we’re capable.
We planned this well.
If we get visitors,
First we’ll blow the Claymores
Followed by grenades.
We won’t shoot unless there’s
Someone left moving.
Then – when silence returns
I’ll check my men to make sure
No one’s hurt.
Then we’ll check the trail
To make sure no one is alive.
But for now we just wait – and wait
And wait
And what runs through my mind is
I hope no one comes.
That would be my wish – that no one comes.
I know my men.
I know three of them feel the same way
And I know the other two
Are just hoping to get to kill somebody.
That scares me.
Not because of this night
Or even this war.
Nam’s got nothing to do with it.
They came to me that way.

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