Poem written on the 30th anniversary of the fall of South Vietnam.
It began in a scrambled series of grainy
black and white images on the early evening news.
Two men with faces set
attempting to pull down a bronze
eagle plaque whilst the “crack and thump” of
sniper fire chipped plaster all around them.
The crush of civilians at a wrought iron gate;
the wringing of hands and frightened faces.
An exodus of individual landings and take-offs
of helicopters from the roof of the Embassy building,
uplifting military personnel and the odd civilian family.
Later that same night, shots of those same choppers
landing on the decks of ships, some even destroyers,
people climbing out, then after the engine had shut down
sailors and marines dumping the choppers over the side.
They dumped more choppers than the entire Kiwi Air Force.
The late news showed a shot of what looked like
a Russian T54 tank crash through a gate,
slew left and into the Presidential compound.
Then a lone Asian soldier wearing a tank crew
leather helmet running forward with a flag bearing
a bright star in the centre.
He was smiling and waving as he ran.
Vietnam fell that day…
30th of April 1975.
© Mike Subritzky, 30 April 2005