Written in 1969, with my twin brother a conscript and my husband a regular soldier, both serving in Vietnam.

My brother and my husband have gone off to war.

What is it for?

Why do men die and children cry
And women wait in dread?

It’s a terrible war. It’s for justice, they say,
For democracy,…but then,
My brother says most of the people
Want Charlie to win.

They can’t be trusted. Traitors are everywhere.

The worst are the Yanks over there.

There is more chance, the Anzacs sneer,
Of death from “friendly fire”
From a bullet shot by a gun
Of a rookie G.I. than by the Viet Cong.

I share the views of the other Army wives here.

We’re loyal to our men, but then
We hate the war, wonder what it’s for.
The Vietnamese don’t want us there.

Why should we care?

I’m filled with dread
When I hear a chopper overhead.

My brother’s riding shotgun
On the choppers from My Lai.

I cry when A.P.C.s rumble by.

My husband says he’s safe inside a tank,
But I’m afraid some silly Yank
Will drop a bomb in error. That’s the terror.

Or a shell will explode on the road
And the hell will trap him and his men
Inside as they ride.

I have a son. I want his father home.

In one piece would be fine.

Some men have come home,
Intact in body but not in mind,
And have left their wives behind,

To wander like lost souls, with no goals.

I hope that won’t happen to mine.