Triage by Richard Levine

At the hospital in Danang
It was so backed up,
Stretchers spanning out
Shoulder to shoulder,
Out beyond the bounds
Of the place,
So they were triaging
To see if there were
Superficial shrapnel
Or flesh wounds
They could tend right there,
And it was then I heard
One of the surgeons say–
Looking at the half missing
Face,the gelatinous flesh–
That he was a candidate
For mercy killing,
That the recommended
Surgical procedure
Should be sending him
Back up in the next
Chopper going out,
And dropping him
Along the way.

Richard Levine, a distinguished poet, served with 3rd Tanks,3rd Marines ’67-’68

Watch Richard sing the blues.