Vietnam Vet befriends an immigrant in Pittsburgh, Pa - ( let's put it that way )

by Vasil Slavov

Now Ralph is not home.
Now Ralphie is gone.
The Vietnam Vet
with his furry pet.

He bought us a cake
( for God gracious sake )
for me & my wife
to start a new life.

He called me My Lad
& stopped for chit – chat
& told me ‘bout fights
for freedom & rights.

We had time so good
in our own neighborhood,
we raked our leaves
& talked ‘bout our kids.

When the Alzheimer came
he still was the same,
just deep in his eyes
rose blackness in tides.

When I saw him last
his time ran so fast:
“ Whatever you need –
I’m right, ‘cross the street “.

He looked up & smiled -
was chilly outside:
“ Me, Lad, I’m prepared,
So you, don’t get scared .

I had some great years,
no whining, no tears,
I’ve dreamt all my dreams
& and lived wearing jeans.

We built this country tough
with Bible & Love.
You, guys, do your best,
take care of the rest “.

He patted my shoulder,
I felt slightly older,
we strolled for a while,
the dog, me and his smile.

I walked Ralphie home.
Next day he was gone.
My friend with the pet.
The Vietnam Vet.

Vasil Slavov's picture

Vasil Slavov is a Bulgarian poet. Graduated English philology from Sofia University “ Kliment Ohridsky “. First collection of poetry published in 1989. Same year moved to USA. Studied poetry with the MFA program (Bruce Weigl) at Pennsylvania State University. Poems published in the collection of Bulgarian verse “ Windows at the Black Sea “ (Carnegie Mellon University Press), editors Richard Harteis and William Meredith. Author of several books of poetry, collections of short stories and a novel (editors of his books published in Bulgaria - Georgi Borissov, Boris Hristov, Penka Vatova). Last book of poetry “Americana“, published with “Trud“ Publishing House - Sofia, Bulgaria - December 2010. Lives with his wife and daughter in Pittsburgh, PA.

Last updated October 04, 2016