I tripped over it too, kid, the same one you did,
because I was watching your mom.
Your toes found the crack and I watched her back
as she picked you up and hurried on.
She had you and carried another, maybe a sister or a brother.
I followed happily along.
She found the door and pulled you in. I felt my finger on the pin,
wanting to test the bomb.
Someday, I’m gonna learn to close my eyes and stop the burn,
but it sticks to me like napalm.
No one really knows the score when the mind loses another war,
goes MIA like in Vietnam.
You’ve got a nice mom, kid, you and I and a fatal skid.
In this battle, I’m a noncom.
February 4, 1995