Sunday, April 22, 2012

NPM: Kilroy

Kilroy is gone,
the word is out,
absent without leave
from Vietnam.

Kilroy
who wrote his name
in every can
from Poland to Japan
and places in between
like Sheboygan and Racine
is gone
absent without leave
from Vietnam.

Kilroy
who kept the dice
and stole the ice
out of the BOQ
Kilroy
whose name was good
on every IOU
in World War II
and even in Korea
is gone
absent without leave
from Vietnam.

Kilroy
the unknown soldier
who was the first to land
the last to leave,
with his own hand
has taken his good name
from all the walls
and toilet stalls.
Kilroy
whose name around the world
was like the flag unfurled
has run it down
and left Saigon
and the Mekong
without a hero or a song
and gone
absent without leave
from Vietnam.

-- Gene McCarthy

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