Pork Chop Hill by Vern Fein (Fevers of the Mind 2020 Anthology)

Monument, Korean War, Memorial, War

Pork Chop Hill

This Korean War battle has always haunted me.
Originally named Hill 255, a stupid, demeaning title
replaced because that hill
was shaped like a pork chop,
almost comic relief to the brutality,
so much horror and sacrifice.

I've never wanted to be a soldier.
Thank God (Who does not take sides).
I missed all the many wars in my long life,
realized how easily it could have been otherwise.
Glad my two sons dodged it,
not by intention but happenstance.
Just born lucky. History can be that way.

I have no business writing this poem
unless it is all right to hate war
and not think that any words about
how horrible it is stinks of the unpatriotic
like fetid bodies inside the bags.

Trudge up Pork Chop Hill.
I was never there,
but I read about it over and over,
an obsession for no reason I know,
maybe some kind of historical survivor's guilt?

Now I can see it, smell it,
the muck, the monsoon rains,
washing away the blood again and again
as the trapped men battled back and forth,
the longest battle of the war,
to take it and lose it and re-take it,
for "no strategic or tactical reason"
said the report.
This Korean War battle has always haunted me.
A 980 foot high pork chop,
a butcher's cut,
helpless men,
defining life, defining death
for so many
tragic men
we will never know.
No glory here.
No glory at all.

Bio from 2020:
Vern is a retired special education teacher, Vern Fein has published over one hundred fifty poems on onver sixty sites, a few being: *82 Review, Bindweed Magazine, Gyroscope Review, Courtship of Winds, Young Raven's Review, Monterey Poetry Review, and Corvus Review.

By davidlonan1

David writes poetry, short stories, and writings that'll make you think or laugh, provoking you to examine images in your mind. To submit poetry, photography, art, please send to feversofthemind@gmail.com. Twitter: @davidLOnan1 + @feversof Facebook: DavidLONan1

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