The bullets coming up through the jungle canopy shot the oil lines in two
The engine burned and failed.
I took the airspeed to zero and put the helicopter into the trees tail down
As the rotor blades broke off we hurtled to the ground.
Now when I awake at night slamming with no blades to the jungle floor
I see a man standing in the trees
He looks like an ordinary man
Until I see the nails in his hands.
We buried my father one sunny afternoon
There were his friends, a World War II honor guard, a flag and taps.
I had seen death many times before
But this was my father whom I loved and adored.
Just as I thought I could not hold up
One of his cronies steadied me with an arm around my shoulder
I was surprised I did not know the man
Looking back I see the nail in his hand.
Perhaps I should have died in the jungle at twenty-five
So I try to make myself useful to prove I am alive
As I stand here in a life of joy and happy circumstance
To satisfy my artistic longing I pursue the ballroom dance.
Through years of dedicated lessons she elevates me beyond my ability
Then one day, in minutes, a coach puts us both on a level we have never been
Though I know him as an ordinary man
I swear that day I saw a deep scar on his hand.
Ray Kenneth Clark
, Ray Clark
, Ray Kenneth Clark