How things don't always turn out well for the apparently blessed, especially in wartime.

Hometown Hero

He was That Guy in high school.
You know who I mean, That Guy
who scored the winning touchdown,
who won a National Merit Scholarship,
who got accepted at Yale and Princetown,
who made everything look so easy,
Who was voted best looking,
most likely to succeed, most athletic,
who got blow jobs from grateful cheerleaders
and even fucked Mademoiselle Marsh
the sexy French teacher as a senior
the day he gave the valedictory speech.
Everybody knows some Guy like That.
He is the Golden Guy who will never rust.
Only This Guy made an honest error.
The country at war, he felt his duty
and joined the Marine Corps in 1967.
He left a leg at Hue during Tet
and won a bunch of medals, but
a very Different Guy came home.

Yale and Princetown forgotten,
he rented a room and tended bar
and he could hop those drinks
faster than anyone else,
but mostly he sat in his room,
saw and spoke to no one,
spinning reruns in his head
and drank and drank and drank
until someone discovered him dead.
Twenty-four and game over.
Sure, you knew That Guy.

Submitted: September 04, 2015

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