After Belatedly Watching the Ken Burns Vietnam War Documentary

                   Behold, I make all things new.
—Revelation 21:5

Already past the middle of July,
The summer I left for college, said goodbye—
For weeks, not months or years, eternity—
To the girl I loved, still love, I’ll always love;
All summer, Vietnam, the nightly news,
Men on the moon, cooked body counts, V.C.,
Cambodia bombing—one small step above
This blood-soaked earth, they saw only sea-blues.

A long way past the middle of my years,
I’ve got graver by far goodbyes in store.
Eternity, the real thing this time, nears,
With promises that, then, we’ll unlearn war
Forever, that God’s peace at last will pierce
Our hearts. Amen!
But, Lord, why not before?

Charles Hughes

Charles Hughes is the author of two poetry collections, The Evening Sky (forthcoming from Wiseblood Books in 2020) and Cave Art (Wiseblood Books 2014). His poems have appeared in the Alabama Literary Review, The Christian Century, the Iron Horse Literary Review, Literary Matters, Measure, the Saint Katherine Review, the Sewanee Theological Review, Think Journal, and elsewhere. He worked as a lawyer for thirty-three years before his retirement and lives with his wife in the Chicago area.

'After Belatedly Watching the Ken Burns Vietnam War Documentary' has 1 comment

  1. January 13, 2023 @ 4:24 pm Cynthia Erlandson

    Beautiful imagery and musicality, succinctly expressing the comparison of then to now; a thought-provoking working-out of the epigraph; and a poignant question to punctuate the poem.


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