Even Guys Who Have Been In Combat

by Eric Chaet

At the counter of the diner
where I go for oatmeal & coffee & to get on with it
a soft-spoken, white bearded man I’d never spoken with before
told me he’d been in Vietnam, “66, 67, 68, 69” —
“In combat?” I asked.  “Yes.”

“I’m glad you got home in one piece,” I offered.
“Yes, but when you come home
everyone says, that’s over, get on with it,” he said.

“It happens to everyone,” I said
surprised to realize that now I knew —
“even to guys who have been in combat.”


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