Drafted Without a Say

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: War and Military  |  House: Booksie Classic
I wrote this for a project on the Vietnam war. I was supposed to talk about how the "Agent Orange" pesticide hurt the environment and the affect it had on the animals and people involved.

Submitted: August 07, 2012

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Submitted: August 07, 2012

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Drafted Without a Say:

I have heard many a story from father of the events in WWI,

The many cold and lonely nights, and days without the sun.

He explained to me the anguish of fighting without being able to see,

So I prayed day and night this would never happen to me.

But my moment soon came when I opened the mailbox that day,

I read the letter from the Service, speechless with nothing to say.

I went inside to tell my mother that the day had finally come,

I approached her, she was happy, smiling with a hum.

I felt bad, a certain kind of disgrace,

That in mere moments I would wipe that smile off her face.

I handed her the letter and turned my head with certain sorrow,

Although I should have looked at her, cause my last day at home was tomorrow.

She read the letter slowly, then pushed the parchment away,

I gave her a hug along with the words, “Its gonna be okay.”

She swore under her breath as she turned to finish her work,

I then winced while thinking how to tell my brothers, Johnny, Steve and Kirk.

I also day-dreamed of how I would tell my father, although I knew what he would say,

I would hand him the document, he would read, and shout, hooray!

Then that would be it, I would be off to war,

Out like a light, shut behind the door.

I knew the time would come, I sighed as the clock struck six,

My heart was broken, broken, broken without a fix.

I heard the sound of boots, dragging along the floor,

I nearly jumped out of my skin, at the loud slam of the door.

I knew the time had come, said my heart, heavy and black,

I would be shipped of to war, with a firm slap on the back.

“Its time for dinner!” said my mothers’ voice, quivery and weak,

I got up from the rocking chair, slowly with a loud squeak.

I entered the dining room with my head down, paper resting upon my chest,

I looked up to see my old father, slowly removing his vest.

“There’s something you need to see,” I said, my voice more frightened than ever,

As I handed him the document, my breath got slowly heavier.

He put on his bifocals and focused on the note,

Rubbing his eyes and coughing to clear his throat.

He read and looked up at me and stated, “Your time has come,”

He said, “You’ll make a good soldier, I’m proud of you son.”

“But father I don’t want this!” I exclaimed as I stomped my foot on the floor,

“Don’t be such a child,” he said, I had never yelled at him before.

“But father just hear me out!” I made my reason to stay; I spoke like a haiku,

He said, “I understand how you feel, but I’m afraid there’s nothing we can do.”

“Enough!” Said my father, now sit down and eat your dinner,

I mumbled under my breath, “I might as well not, I’m just gonna get thinner.”

“Is that back talk soldier?”

He handed me the note, and I placed it in the folder.

“Yes, it is father; I don’t want to go to war!”

My face was turning red, and I was hot in my core.

“Listen up son, and listen up good,

The military would be good for you, your turning into a hood!”

“I am not a hood father; I am a strong, straight forward man,”

Oh, a man you say? No, you’ll be weak like your uncle Dan.”

Dan was my dad’s youngest brother; he was drafted with a moan,

He acted crazy in boot camp, and got to go home.

He was disowned by the family with a strong military tradition,

He was beat often at home, his clothes were stained crimson.

My father’s words hurt; he had gone way too far,

I just wanted to run away, by legs or by car.

I slammed my fists down and flew up the stairs,

My father had hurt me, as if anyone cares.

I ran in my room and slammed the door hard,

I lit up a cig, and picked up a dart.

I had started smoking at a very young age,

Probably cause father made life feel like a cage.

I lined up the target, and struck the bulls eye,

I fell back on my bed, I wished I would die.

Five years later I found myself in battle,

Spraying orange cancer, and killing stray cattle.

Now this spray that I speak of, they call it, Agent Orange,

It made you sick as a dog, and made your lungs feel like porridge.

I saw many things in this war, thinking back I might cry,

I gave animals cancer, and I saw a child die.

It was a nine year old boy; he brought me a bucket of water,

Then a guerilla came at me with a knife, I dodged him, the child was slaughtered.

I heard the boy scream as he fell to the earth,

My life started over, I had had a rebirth.

From that moment on, my life was never the same,

It all takes me back to the day,

When I was

Drafted, Drafted, Drafted without a say.


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