Two Poems

by Clinton Van Inman
War Within

                        They buried them in our little Southern town
                        Nothing much here for miles around
                        Why, I guess, they figured they’d never be found
                        Those toxic drums they buried in the ground.

                        Our little Southern town was much like all those around
                        Where towers and church steeples stood tall,
                        Where most folks never heard of a shopping mall,
                        Yet here kids grow up quick
                        And here kids grow up strong
                        Yet we knew something was wrong
                        When kids were dying or getting sick.

                        It was those drums rusting and rotting with time
                        As their poisons seeped out into the water line.
                        We always thought war was something
                        Over there and given a foreign name
                        Not something within buried in our backyard,
                        And something most of us would never understand
                        Those drums of Agent Orange came from Viet-Nam
                        That were buried on our rich mayor’s land.

                        Seems our mayor had made a deal with strategic command,
                        As the drums were buried on his promised land.
                        The mayor refused to comment and moved away,
                        While we with our dead children are here to stay.


Life is the smell of fresh cut clover
In the country air,
When walking barefoot
Wandering without a care.

Life is watching a summer sunset
While sitting in the sand
And watching the breakers sailing in
Upon a distant strand.

Life is the smell of ham and eggs
On a morning campfire.
Or the song of a bird in a tree
That sings over the mire.

Most of all life is being with you
Walking hand in hand,
Both of us together through time
Walking upon the starlit sand.

Bio: Clinton Van Inman grew up in North Carolina, graduated from San Diego State University in 1977, taught in South Carolina and is currently a high school teacher in Tampa Bay where he lives in Sun City Center, Florida with his wife, Elba.



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