Monday, July 1, 2013

Veterans of Vietnam--By Kathryn McLoughlin Collins--United States

Veterans of Vietnam    

Do you still carry it with you,
the rifle of the fight?

Are you absolved in your bravery
even though you did not die?

Do you see worth
for what you risked?

I could not smell your perspiration
as we danced the boogaloo at home.

We were all so young;
all of us;
no chance to think;
each in a different reality.

And there are those who are forever young
prisoners of the mind, of the soul,
of the earth framed in heartache by loved ones.

Born in 1945, Kathryn Collins is a native New Yorker now living in Connecticut whose works have been described as “a gentle sort of poetry” by the editor of her first book No Need for Breadcrumbs, published by BeWrite Books, 2004. Her work has also appeared in numerous anthologies. Inspired by her beloved grandmother, she developed a great love of poetry at an early age and has been writing for 20 years.


  1. Wonderful poem, dear Kathy... so potent...I love it... Terry

  2. Dear Kathy,

    Thank you for all the comments you left for other writers today. Your encouragement and support helping to make Whispers into a creative community. What a blessing you are and a light in the poetry community. Thanks again my friend.


  3. Reading your poetry brings back memories of the news broadcasts about Vietnam. I believe this was a very difficult time for our nation and its people. I am sure it was even more difficult for our Military fighting that horrible war...

    Rhoda Galgiani

  4. Dear Kathy,

    A well written poem of the haunting memories that affected the returning soldiers from the Vietnam War. Thank you for sharing this poem with us and thank you kindly for the comment you left on my poem.


  5. Kathryn, I remember the Vietnam wore too well. Veterans did not return home to cheers - just jeers from anti-war protestors. Even if we don't support a war, we must give our soldiers our gratitude. Many were drafted; they had no choice. This poem reminds me so much of an era where soldiers came home with post-traumatic stress disorder. I know some who still suffer from it. Your poem touched me deeply. Best wishes, Carolyn Devonshire

  6. Thank you, Jack Horne, for the following comment--

    loved this moving poem. Joe is yellow, just like your Tweety

  7. Very thoughtful and words that needed to be spoken.
    You have given a voice to these soldiers who have to live with the memories. I know it will be appreciated for the empathy it holds.

  8. Thank you, Gerald Heyder, for the following comment--

    Dear Kathryn-

    Your poem really told it like it really was! Tho' not a viet vet, I served my military hitch at that time!

  9. Kathryn,
    Your poem echoes how the veterans would have said it.
    David Fox

  10. Thank you, Richard Sponaugle, for the following comment--

    The Vietnam Veterans finally get overdue recognition. A very noble poem, well written and thought provoking.

  11. Thank you, Gerald Heyder, for the following comment--

    Thank you for enjoying my limerick! Vietnam Vets should have mixed emotions and memories regarding this poem! It's a good one!