The Old Vet

The old-looking man —
well, not so old —
in worn camouflage
pants cap and I bet dogtag
straight from the jungle
walked in a slump
a where-am-I face.

A woman and her daughter passed him
Their dog barked, pulled hard on the leash
but not in passing me —
a man with a walking stick
and hunched back.
The vet hung his head:
Even the dogs bark at me.

Sometimes he wonders
if those tins for heating rations
contained Agent Orange
and How come the many tours we served.

For 80 years I have heard of those heroes
who served their country.
God bless A mer i ca
and all her wars.

Robert A. Davies has published in recent years largely online. He has been writing poems seriously since 1969. He has published Timber, Tracks in Oregon, Melons and Mendelssohn, and Bluff Hollow. He was co-editor of Mr. Cogito for about 20 years. He has recently appeared in Dissident Voice and Windfall He can be reached at: Read other articles by Robert A..