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VIETNAM WAR POETRY
The Armored Car: La Belle Dame Sans Merci
1973

by:Enrique del Rosario
© Copyright
1973

 

VIETNAM WAR POETRY
© Copyright 1965-2008,
by Enrique del Rosario


Stinger Ace
Chimera
Eagle Strike
Hue Citadel
Private Jackson
Night Probe
Lullaby on Hill 40
Preparing For War
Bull, The FAC
Painful Memories
Helicopter Gunner
Seasons in Haiku
Chief Seattle Speaks
La Belle Dame Sans Merci
The Orphans of Tu-Do Street

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


The Armored Car: La Belle Dame Sans Merci

Shaded from the noon day sun
beneath an aged banyan tree
sit the Armored Car, La Belle Dame Sans Merci.

Children play around her hull
her turret guns now silently
rest the Armored Car, La Belle Dame Sans Merci.

The tankers' grim fade with the mirth
of children ringing playfully
'round the Armored Car, La Belle Dame Sans Merci.

All too soon stern duty calls
to a fight in Cholon City
sped the Armored Car, La Belle Dame Sans Merci.

Her crew wheeled her around and sped
over littered roads her crew anxiously
drove the Armored Car, La Belle Dame Sans Merci.

Amongst the ruins the soldiers spy
small targets moving erratically
from the Armored Car, La Belle Dame Sans Merci.

They run they must be foe for who
would run away so fleetingly
from the Armored Car, La Belle Dame Sans Merci.

With guns ablaze she charges forth
dealing death haphazardly
charged the Amored Car, La Belle Dame Sans Merci.

The foe is gone the battle won
the soldiers shout victoriously
stand the Armored Car, La Belle Dame Sans Merci.

Bring the dead and lay them out
to tally the score officially
for the Armored Car, La Belle Dame Sans Merci.

Count them all God knows His own
the innocent from the enemy
hail the Armored Car, La Belle Dame Sans Merci.

The Armored Car: La Belle Dame Sans Merci
Saigon, Vietnam, March 1968

After a couple of years of working in Thailand and Laos, I returned to Saigon right after the Tet of 1968. The city had been hit hard by Communist forces and the South Vietnamese military forces were occupying strategic locations throughout the city in anticipation of a second offensive. Indeed it came a few weeks later. In the midst of this beseiged city, I saw something that stayed with me to this day - a Vietnamese armored vehicle that was parked on the street, and children playing around it. On the side of the armored car, faded and flaking, someone had painted, "La Belle Dame Sans Merci".

 
MARINE MEDIUM HELICOPTER SQUADRON 365 in Vietnam, 1964-1965

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