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Rated: 18+ · Poetry · Emotional · #2009567
A soldier returning from Vietnam, haunted by dreams, turns to drinking.
Ol' Johnnie Walker Red

Jesse’s girl got pregnant, so he made her his wife
No way to pay the rent, he had to change his life
With a baby on the way, he joined the army in the fall of ’65
Maybe on a soldier's pay, he could keep their hopes alive
Jesse said goodbye and went to work for Uncle Sam
Six months of basic training and he’s off to Vietnam

His weapon was an M16, with it he was skilled
Just a boy of nineteen, so many NVA he killed
His tour of duty ended in the spring of ‘68
Back home to his family, hoping to celebrate
Jesse kissed his wife and held his little girl
The past, he put behind and gave life a whirl

No work, no jobs and their bank account was shrinking
Nothing else to do, so poor Jesse began drinking
Some hippies gathered at the corner, burning American flags
Those dirtbags called him “Baby Killer”, seeing his dog tags
Jesse fought for their Freedom and this is what they do?
He couldn't believe their disrespect for the Red, White and Blue

His wife had enough of his bitter anger; she said she couldn't take anymore
She whispered “Goodbye”, cried and kissed him, then softly closed the door
With his rage, he’d chased away all the friends over the years he made
Now even his family left him, sacrifice for his country, is this how he’s paid?
So out comes his best and only friend, his buddy Ol’ Johnnie Walker Red
Jesse drunk as usual, staggered down the hall and fell into his bed

That night the dreams came again, about that war we won
Jesse sees all the men that he killed, each a father or a son
The faces of their families, accusing him, tears in their eyes
One by one they pass before Jesse, he hears their dying cries
Feeling sick to his stomach, he struggles out of bed
He’s got to get out of this place, away from the dead

Jesse runs out the door and slams it behind
He needs to find a place the NVA won’t find
The next day a passerby looks at the end of the street
And there, in the corner lay a body, a gun by its feet
Right next to a dumpster, lay poor Jesse, cold and dead
His only friend beside him, Ol’ Johnnie Walker Red

Steve Alexander 9/14/2014
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