Monday, November 11, 2013


We stood in line naked as the day we were born
and not much older than that,
 getting shots from 5 needle guns,
two at a time one in each arm.
Those that didn’t fall out laughed as the rest woke up
to find the world hadn’t ended as they were handed
everything from a watch to uniforms to skivvies.  

Pushups, some big motherfucker always yelling for more pushups
 and then you learning he was a chief or master sergeant 
and he hated you because he didn’t want to watch
as your flag covered aluminum box came back
from somewhere people were being ignorantly stupid.  

You never said whether you were going hither or yon,
you just went where you were told
did your best to kill as many as were trying to kill you.
You had as much desire to live as they did,
brothers in arms fighting wars in places
cowards and leaders dare not tread.
And then come home safe, alive
for the children of love to spit on.
I’ll never forget that spit on.

I was a Sailor, I patrolled the Atlantic Ocean with a radar scope.
I didn’t kill any babies, or fire any jungle villages
helped pull a few brothers from other mothers
from another land from foaming seas that sunk their boat.
All hands dead, but not all lost at sea. And never spit on. 

I often thought as I read of a war a half a world away
rising body counts and was not shocked
when I learned the truth that the children of love
spit on, spit on men for wearing green,
were as full of shit as
even old veterans spit out
that we were the first to lose a war
in a land no one like us belonged in
except we were told to go.  Spit on.

And now we have a wall
everyone wants to hide behind it.
The thing Is we still see you spit,
sputtering on about the constitution we swore to protect
MY! How times change.  
You own your actions even if they were forty years ago,
you own them still,
same as I do.
You may have changed
or so you say
but I doubt it,
I think you simply changed your hatreds.

And what I find funny as hell
is of all the boomers
that could have gone
to serve and protect
their country and constitution, 
symbolized by a cracked bell,
right or wrong they didn’t .
And now as fat old men
Standing behind a wall
they do not know one name on
they hide and say they have an absolute right
to have weapons to spit lead on every
American that offends them.

I laugh because as soon as they graduated
they went on to find another way to stay
out of a war they protested
but in their future as the mighty 
in the halls of power without
second thought willingly
send other mothers children off to fight
with the same lies of truth and right.
To come home in aluminum
flag draped coffins full of the darkest night.

Don’t say Happy Veterans day to me
I know why I went to sea to see
 A boy made into a man that is me.
I own what I do.
One thing I do not own is I never spit on you.

© M Durfee


  1. The biggest talkers are often the least walkers

  2. Powerful, Mark, and sad, too, that there are those who always have to take advantage of situations...even situations as ugly as war.

  3. You are as the Platonic Walking Man: deeply particular and personal, yet always touching larger truths.

    Aloha to YOU

  4. My husband's father returned to his wife & 3 kids in a flag-covered aluminum box; his name is on that wall…bro & bro-in-law both served in Iraq, the latter twice. I don't spit.
    I salute you.

  5. strong words mark....owning what we do...what we did...and living up to it as well...those in favor of guns but unwilling to use them beyond their own purpose...thank you still for your service....

  6. Powerfully written Mark ~ Thanks for sharing ~


So Walking Man I was thinking...