They moved into the house across the street.
Chinese, I thought.
My wife thought they were Japanese.
Our grandkids were in the school play with their grandkids.
Our wives met when they helped set up the stage.
We were invited over.
Their house brought back memories of ’68 Da Nang,
the smells of the SVA guys cooking their rice dishes.
He asked me, was I in the war, and I told him about
a couple of firefights near Khe Sanh.
He said that he was stationed in Hanoi until ’67,
and then he commanded a couple of VC squads. He asked
if I was ok with that.
I took a deep breath. Just two guys talking.
It was a long time ago.
I offered him my hand.
This persona poem was originally published in
The Paterson Literary Review #43 2015-2016