He asked his dad
if he’d like to go back to Vietnam,
don’t ever ask that again.
The trip might reduce the emotional pain.
It might ease his mind.
They landed at Da Nang,
the same airport his father had arrirved
at as a 19-year-old.
It brought the war back to him vividly.
He still remembered the exact moment
his foot hit the tarmac,
and knew he was entering a war zone.
The worst months of his life.
Memories were grim.
The father and son found the firebase
at an isolated coffee plantation.
He was struck by how quiet it was,
and felt like he was standing in a cemetery.
They drank a toast of scotch to all veterans.
The war-torn Vietnam of his memories was gone,
but trip didn’t end his nightmares.
It completed the circle for him.