Tuesday, August 19, 2008


All the lanes were busy
On a Saturday night
When the school kids
Noticed the five older guys.

They were wearing camo tees
With the 23rd Psalm printed
On the backs, their names
Embroidered on the front.

Those guys are strange-
Became the kids general
Take on the quintet neighbor
Pin knocker squadmen.

A1, Bo, Leadhead, Jackie, Owleye.
The kids had no way of knowing
That forty years ago Uncle Sam
Taught bowling on troop ships.

1st Air Cavalry Division.
Five men among 450
Airlifted by helicopter to
Ia Drang Valley to seek/destroy.

Three days saw half the G.I.'s
Dead along with 1000 Charlie.
The five bowlers lobbing hand
Grenades down tropical alleys.

They watched each others back
Over 72 hours nonstop, often
Drinking and pissing in the same
Position, gazes fixed like radar.

Rotated back to the real world,
All intact and able bodied, each
Man packing a fifth of Wild Turkey
From a grateful Colonel Moore.

Now they play cards on Fridays,
Bowl every Saturday, and pray
Every night that no other boys
Grow up in a hell like the Nam.

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