A Hundred and Fifty Dead [Korean War--l952]

There I sat, ninety-five degree weather

Outside; the bookstore café, was cool.

An Old Timer stood by me, explaining:

"There were two-hundred of us on the Island,

Near North Korea, back in '52-

We guarded 16,000-prisners?

"All of a sudden, all hell broke loose

Three-hundred North Koreans came

Over the bob-wired fence, in pursuit

"It all happened in a matter of seconds

The machineguns killed 150-of them

That's all I saw in the war of '52.

(One American wounded one concussion.)

"Now we had to fingerprint them all!"

The old timer said; exhaustedly;

As if he was to do it all over again?

But they were just old memories unearthed;

Resurrected for a moment, from the

Sands of that little horse-shoe island.

"But I guess I'll never forget," he said with

No regrets!... as he moved on looking

For his table, where he left his coffee.

#762 7/15/05

Notes: as a War Veteran I used to meet a lot of old timers from an assortment of wars, at one time, WWII seemed to be the one I meet the most from; before that, it used to be WWI (when I was a kid); very few from the Korean War (but now and then I meet one), and a few from Vietnam; where I was. Funny it seems, most of these groups are becoming more scarce, especially WWI, and the Korean War; or so it seems. Now we have three more wars to look at: Persian Gulf One, Afghanistan War and Persian Gulf Two (it seems, all in a matter of a decade); and I should mention, the Bosnian War, which my son was involved with; I guess I will not run out of War Veterans to talk to. It is also funny; we stop the longest war on record, the Vietnam War, only to replace it with the four-wars I mentioned. Oh well, that is life is it not.

Dennis Siluk,a poet and a War Veteran, of Vietnam; his recent book, "Spell of the Andes," has two sections, one on the Andes of Peru, the other on Rhymes of War, dealing with Vietnam. You can see his books at any of the Internet sites like http://www.bn.com or http://www.abe.com. He lives in Minnesota and Peru

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