Dept. of Defence

Hey God! ….. What About Me?


Army at my door,
Collared cross he wore,
Held an official telegram;
A cold khaki voice,

Neutral words by choice,
Son unconscious, Vi-et-nam. 

Intensive Care,
Blood everywhere,
Ghastly wounds may never heal;
Though I heard it all,
I can’t recall,
Days followed, false or real. 

Asian scenes,
‘Boys’ dressed in greens,
Upon our T.V. screens;
I held her hand,
Tried to understand,
Wondered what this hell all means. 

“You know it’s true ...
Oh God ... so true,
’Cause it happened ...
To you ... too!”

*  *  * 

Support abounds,
Rhetoric sounds,
Coming from mouths, who could not know;
Grief would not pass,
We could not laugh,
Tears welled-up, but did not flow. 

Hope was scarce,
We were met with stares,
Just who really, seemed to care?
There were a few,
Some whom we knew,
Yet, no comfort, anywhere. 

We prayed each night,
My son would fight,
Even got down on our knees;
My wife and I,
We don’t know why,
You ignored us, all our pleas. 

“You know it’s true ...
Oh God ... so true,
’Cause it happened ...
To you ... too!”

*  *  * 

Relief seemed none,
Then another’s son,
Both sides added up their score;
Blood-sucking creatures,
‘Pollie’ leeches,
They continued with their war. 

Now lost it seems,
Amongst my dreams,
Like a prisoner in my mind;
Dark tunnel ends,
When light descends,
I’m still searching, hard to find. 

Chained by each thought,
I’m left distraught,
Those guilty, remain still free;
With no shame,
Deny all blame,
For taking my only son from me. 

“You know it’s true ...
Oh God ... so  true,
’Cause it happened ...
To you ... too!” 

*  *  * 

And they all lied:
“God’s on our side!
This war’s sanctioned, from above!”
Yet, I can’t concede,
To that you agreed,
All your teachings preached us love! 

And I can’t conceal,
Just how I feel,
Often try, but never can;
Wanting in vain,
My boy home again,
See grow up, become a man. 

So I just stare,
It’s so unfair,
Hey God! Have you em-path-y?
Your son returned,
So we all learned,

What about the same for me? 

“You know it’s true ...
Oh God ... so  true,
’Cause it happened ...
To you ... too!”


Music​ from You-Tube

​     I guess we have all wondered what it must have been like to have been one of those parents who received the dreaded news of their son’s death or wounding in war. Some concept of that pain and heartache was well depicted in Stephen Spielberg’s movie Saving Private Ryan, wherein a mother watches through her kitchen window at the approach of the army vehicle ... and the army chaplain.
     This poem was inspired by the theme from the song titled : I Saw It On T.V. (by John Fogerty). 

                                        “A bullet went through the base of his skull.
                      It had ricocheted inside his helmet until its momentum ran out.
                                          He is paralysed from a severed brain stem.
                                     He is [only] able to blink, move his eyes and cry …
                                           What God would permit such a fate?
                                                None that I want to believe in! …
                           We print the alphabet on cardboard so he can communicate …
                                              He blinks at our pointing finger …
                                                Once he blinked: ‘L-e-t  m-e  d-i-e!

                                                  - Winnie Smith (Nurse), in  A Noble Cause, by Gerard De Groot, 2000.

Hey  God! ... What  About  Me?