• Kelly J Massey

Operation Silence


Daddy never talked about the war. He wasn’t a part of the “greatest generation.” Instead he was protested, and spit on in the streets.

Daddy never talked about the war. A war not named for the world

but for a single country.

Daddy never talked about that war. He fought for what he thought was right. But when he returned, told he was wrong.

Daddy never talked about Vietnam, but when they kept calling, he kept going back,

nine tours for something to believe in.

Daddy never talked about the war. But he could whistle with the best of them. His whistling could remind him of the shells firing overhead.

Daddy stopped talking about the war,

as quickly as it came up it was gone again.

Squashed away to the back of his mind.

Daddy never talked about that war.

Would carefully whistle songs he knew,

not absently bringing back flashbacks.

Daddy never talked about Vietnam. Though we knew it still raged in his head at night when he screamed and woke the rest of the house.

Daddy never talked about the war. That Craftmaster of the PT boats

would not trace the rivers of those memories.

Daddy never talked about the war. Not about Agent Orange falling

on the jungle trees just above him.

Daddy never talked about that war. In the last three months of life

He couldn't speak at all.

Daddy would never talk about Vietnam.

The cancer grew from bones to brain,

passing through his throat.

Quartermaster 1st Class Lawrence V. Maddock

#poetry #military #navy #Vietnam #war

  • Facebook Social Icon
  • Twitter Social Icon