I am Sorry That I asked

Today I woke up with a huge blemish
on my face
and when I stared at it
it seemed to stare right back.

Later,
at the buffet
for my father’s birthday
he leaned forward
looked at me
and asked
“What happened to your face?”

“Well, that’s not very nice.” I replied.
“I have a pimple. It happens.
What happened to yours?”

He grinned
weathered face
full of old scars
and said:
“In Vietnam, during the war
we would stay silent and still
out in the rice fields
with water up to our chins
slowly making our way across
to ambush the Viet Cong
as they stopped their
day-long march
for rice and rats
on the embankment.

With both hands
we had our rifles raised
above our heads
with all matter of insects
biting at our face as
leeches fed upon our necks
and you could not just
drop your rifle to get rid of them
as any sound would alert Charlie of
our presence and our whole platoon
would end up dead in the water
literally
because they had more men
more bullets
that was their country
and they weren’t about to
hand it over so easily
as you are well aware.”

“Oh!” I said
looked down
and continued eating
my egg-drop soup.

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3 thoughts on “I am Sorry That I asked

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