To Jimmy B from Huntly – I hope you find peace mate.

(Cassino Barracks, 1974)

A quiet night in the barracks,
around midnight he starts it again,
he’s yelling about some damned ambush,
and calling some Viet woman’s name.

He always yells out he’s sorry,
so sorry for all of the pain,
but every night around midnight;
he kills her all over again.

His life’s in a kind of a freeze frame,
he can’t move on from the war,
and every night just after twelve,
he’s back in the Nam once more.

Back with the old ‘Victor’ Company,
back in that same Free-Fire-Zone,
and no bastard told those young Kiwi Grunts;
they patrolled near a woodcutter’s home.

When the Lead Scout signals it’s Charlie,
the Platoon melts quietly away,
the ‘Immediate Ambush’ signs given,
and the Safety Catch slips onto ‘play’.

There’s five in the group in pyjamas,
as black as a midnight in May,
and the Killing Ground moves into picture;
then the Gun Group opens the way.

Black figures are falling around him,
now he’s up on his feet running through,
and they’re sweeping the ground where they dropped them,
as he ‘double taps’ a screaming torso.

At the Re-Org his fingers are trembling,
the Platoon Sergeant gives him a smoke,
then it’s back to the bodies to check them;
and his round hit a woman in the throat.

There are blood trails leading behind them,
and entrails are spilled on the track,
but the woman who screamed once is silent,
two rounds exit right through her back.

The jungle seems silent and empty,
as they dig down and bury the mess,
then it’s check ammunition and weapons;
and don’t dwell on the past just forget.

Another night in the barracks,
and Jimmy is yelling again,
it’s that same old Vietnam movie,
that’s spinning around in his brain.

He always yells out he’s sorry,
so sorry for all of the pain,
but every night around midnight
he kills her all over again.

Reference: 

© Mike Subritzky, 2001

How to cite this page: 'Midnight Movie - Poem', URL: http://www.vietnamwar.govt.nz/memory/midnight-movie-poem, (Ministry for Culture and Heritage), updated 9-Jan-2014