they called it vietnam


Charlie come home in a box. A flag that weren’t ever his on top. Strangers in strange clothes brung it up the hill. Sit it on his momma’s porch. Like it was somethin’ that ought to be sittin’ there, instead of somewhere else.

Like they knew.

The night before he left, before they come to get him just like they come to bring him, he leaned up against that porch and strummed his guitar. Wearin’ that funny kind of voice. The kind that makes you scared even though it ain’t.

All night he sung. I don’t remember what.

I took the screen off my window, hung my feet out over the sill, and watched the moon on his face from across the road. All gray and blue and empty.

Maybe he died in the dark. No body ever said.

But I never seen him again. And I ain’t felt right for it yet.

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22 Comments

  • hattigrace
    Apr 2, 2006 at 22:15

    ” Wearin’ that funny kind of voice. The kind that makes you scared even though it ain’t. ”

    Been there.

    Few words. Rich portrait. Great talent, Buffy.

    :>)

  • Junebugg
    Apr 2, 2006 at 22:33

    “I took the screen off my window, hung my feet out over the sill, and watched the moon on his face from across the road. All gray and blue and empty”. This line reminds me of my childhood here in Alabama.

    I’ve been reading various entries and I love your writing. The way your voice changes with the different stories, the way the words make pictures in my mind. Excellent stuff, the kind I wish I could write.

    Thanks for stopping by and leaving a comment. I’ll be back to visit, probably again and again.

  • David
    Apr 2, 2006 at 22:48

    I agree with Mrs. Hatti Grace. Though it’s only a few words, it gets the picture you wanted to paint, across. A very sad and touching picture, but nonetheless, beautiful.

  • Dan Flynn
    Apr 2, 2006 at 23:13

    B,

    The accent in the final two sentences do it for me. “But I never seen him again. And I ain’t felt right for it yet.” Economic, poetical. Great writing indeed.

  • Dawn (webmiztris)
    Apr 3, 2006 at 1:13

    the only way I could read this post was by reading it with a southern accent. it just sounds ‘right’ that way…lol!

  • hattigrace
    Apr 3, 2006 at 3:55

    Okay Buffy, I jumped into the deep end today. This last post nudged me to put one of my Appalachian writings out there. It is so personal it hurts. Written in ’99. Be a critic, okay?

  • sky
    Apr 3, 2006 at 6:13

    Fabulous writing! WOW…

  • kerri
    Apr 3, 2006 at 11:37

    Have you read Tim O’Briens’ “The Things They Carried?” Really good stuff. Hard to read to a point, for sure. But good. Like this post.

  • Diane
    Apr 3, 2006 at 15:15

    What a talent you have…and truly are!

    Diane

  • amanda
    Apr 3, 2006 at 18:49

    amazing cadence. you captured a true voice in this piece of fiction. so interesting. beautiful work.

  • bella
    Apr 3, 2006 at 19:24

    It’s awesome when so much heart and truth comes through in a few words ~ the picture and feeling were made very clear. Awesome.

  • vicissitudinaire
    Apr 4, 2006 at 0:04

    sometimes I wonder if you’ll get really tired of all my comments saying some variation of “amazing, beautiful writing”. But I can’t help it.

    But I will say that the world is worth being colorful for people like you who notice

  • Liz
    Apr 4, 2006 at 19:31

    Sparse, yet beautiful. This is absolutely haunting.

  • shesawriter
    Apr 4, 2006 at 22:11

    That was beautiful, Buffy! 🙂

  • Alexandra
    Apr 5, 2006 at 12:59

    Simply put, this is outstanding.

  • K
    Apr 5, 2006 at 13:49

    That first line is absolutely perfect.

    Your prose is so incredibly moving.

  • Amra
    Apr 5, 2006 at 22:16

    Great voice you’ve got there. Makes me think about the kind of novel this extract would be from and who the narrator would be. Hope these are questions you’ll answer soon.

  • LiA
    Apr 6, 2006 at 8:53

    Truly moving… keep on writing!

  • Jay
    Apr 6, 2006 at 18:39

    This is a change of pace, and one I truly enjoyed.

  • LisaBinDaCity
    Apr 8, 2006 at 12:59

    I feel like I’m back in the South again…

  • Bonnie Calhoun
    Apr 10, 2006 at 5:06

    That really tugs on the heart strings. I had a similar incident happen back in the late ’60s…Vietnam!! One day he was there, and a couple of weeks later he was back, in a box!

  • Sammi
    Oct 3, 2006 at 4:12

    That it so often true that they go over there as boys and come home as MEN. Sometimes the “men” come home in boxs and no one knows why that happends. They get letters from home say “that we love and miss you so much. cant wait till you are home again.” Then they get the letter saying new baby arrived or someone died. Then they get the letter from there CO telling them they get to go home in 2 weeks, then they feel a sharp pain in the stomch and see the blood. A medect come to help them, but by the time they leave the ground they are gone. Why does this happend to “our boys”. I am glad we are free but Freedom is not free. Be proud of your counrty and support “our boy” so the can come home men. thanks for reading my comment. Just thopught I would put my feelings down. Come home safe boys,we are waiting.

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