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.