Saigon Sampan Child

you know I was there
when your father died
the VC death
and you know I left
before your arrival
in this Alexandria salon
where you cut my hair

you tell me of your latest
conversations with Buddha
long letters to Jesus

you smile when I tell you
of my poetry
commemorating times
places and names
on a wall

we rest now
on this ark
in high waters

peace and dreams

Author: Richard Johnson

Richard Eric Johnson served in Viet Nam 1967-68 as an MP with the 509th Radio Research Group. He subsequently served in West Berlin 1968-70 as a German language linguist. He retired from the Marion County Sheriff’s Department as a road patrol officer in Indianapolis. Johnson has authored four books of poetry, most recently “Watching Angels Dance By Candlelight” (Loose Moose Press, 2019).

2 thoughts on “Saigon Sampan Child”

  1. Someone recently asked me when I served in Viet Nam. I replied 1966 until I die. This poem came about because I have been in awe of the ‘Boat People’ for decades now. My barber fled with her mother and sister when she was twelve.

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