The Mushroom Club Masthead


© 2012 Greg Tommasi

Lying in ambush, we've done it before,
A nightly routine, we do it more and more.
It'll be a long night, half asleep and half awake,
I start nodding off, and I feel myself shake,
The bloke next to me, gets a bit of a whack,
There's figures out there, all dressed in black.

Their weapons are slung, not prepared to fight,
A deadly mistake at this time of night.
I gently squeeze and the tracers go flying,
He's hit the first round and I know he is dying.
The M60's start firing, God, what a racket,
Tough for the Nogs getting caught in this bracket.

A grenade is thrown back, with a hell of a crash,
Head covered in dirt, - a bright orange flash.
The Sergeant is yelling, can't hear what he's saying,
Piss off you bastard, just shoot and keep praying.
One of the Nogs calls, then comes to a stop,
It's suddenly quiet, you can hear a pin drop.

It lasts just a second, then it's all on once more,
We know they're all down, we're just making sure.
The radio crackles and a call for support,
It comes all at once, we don't give it much thought.
Mortars now crash into the paddies behind,
Searching for Cong, if there's any to find.

Flares silently floating, turning night into day,
Everything around us, turns a bright silver grey.
The lumps on the ground, are just shadows, that's all,
But I know they're all human, I saw them all fall.
When everything's still, we quietly move out,
And hutch up till dawn, that's what it's about.

Just on first light, we come back once more,
Clearing all round, you can never be sure.
Their bodies are lying on the road where they fell,
Their souls, I've no doubt, are already in hell.
It's really not true that they all look the same,
Each one is different, but so what, it's a game.

I look, and I'm bothered, for I can see,
This "Charlie" right here, is the same age as me.
His lips are blue and his skins turned white,
His face shows clearly the shock and the fright.
His eyes are open, staring and wide,
Both seeing nothing, there's nothing inside.

His black shirt is coloured, covered in red,
The holes are all there, I know he is dead.
We'll bury them soon, just a scrape in the ground,
And take back their weapons saying, "look what we found".
So, it's all over for now, this road is clear,
It's back, to the "Dat" and a can of warm beer.

Terry Tommasi
Terry Tommasi
9 Platoon, C company 1966-67

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