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Rensina van den Heuvel

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Member Since: Jan, 2010

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Politics, Poetry and Love in the Obama Age
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The Hour Before Dawn
by Rensina van den Heuvel
Saturday, January 23, 2010
Rated "G" by the Author.
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A poem to honor our Australian soldiers who were sent to the Vietnam War

The hour before Dawn

In dark of night, their dreams were torn
To sad and bitter threads
A mortar thrown from enemy hands
Had left the boy’s mate dead

The soldier clutched the dead boys hand
And cried in deep despair
His best friend and brother gone
Oh God! It wasn’t fair

As he holds the body of his brother
And thinks of yesterday
When his mate was alive
They shared their food
 In rain filled trenches they lay

Together talking of yesteryears
When life on the farm was a breeze
And here they were on the killing fields.
Surrounded by death…..disease

They’d talked of fishing a lot
And how they loved to roam
They planned to travel Australia together
As soon as they got home

As the rain poured down around them
 And caked the mud to their skin
They made a pact to see this through
‘cause to hell and back, they’d been

The never ending torture
Of seeing people die
Of children’s bleeding bodies
This war has seen them cry

Dark of night, light of day
It always was the same
Charlie was the enemy
They had to play the game

Cannon fire ever present
Blasting at their souls
the trench, their home for many weeks
survive like human moles

The hour before dawn

At night the sky was alive
With light at every blast
Battle fatigue setting in
Images from the past

As the soldier sat and pondered life
The tears welled in his eyes
He sat there till the hour ‘fore dawn
Then he began to rise

He bent to kiss his brothers cheek
“Goodbye mate” he said
took his rifle, climbed out of the trench
put his slouch hat on his head

With half crazed eyes, he began to run
To where the enemy hid
“You bastards”, he shouted
“I’ll kill you all, my brother was just a kid”

The first shot hit him aa a new day dawned
In a war where he shouldn’t have been
He died and fell when the second shot hit
That soldier was just eighteen

Young Aussie blokes, they had no choice
They just obeyed a law
Killed in cold blood, a waste of life
It wasn’t even their war.

Rensina van den Heuvel. Copyright. 1988



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Reviewed by Andy Turner
Damn sad. I too still ponder as to why. And you'll see no hollywood movie showing their gratitude. I am amazed that we never told you not to bother. So sad.
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