Dan Hanosh

Rookie (11/10/1957 / Aurora, Illinois)

My Promise - Poem by Dan Hanosh

Many years have past since
I’d been a gung-ho youth of fourteen
Vietnam had been a child-like fantasy of
glory and honor cradling me proudly

almost daily I sat transfixed to
nightly news reports and the body counts
of the fallen soldiers never did
I think of war as hell

now I can’t forget the images of a smoke
and flash firefight and the dark rubber
bags being shuffled off to a waiting Huey
... I still hear the rhythm of its

blades slicing dead air in the background
as a reporter betrays the memories of the
fallen... we forget the gut retching
pains of war... stories left untold

pain knows no boundaries there
are no favorites only survivors... I
remember a time a friend and I went out
for a drink my buddy got up to get

another round he was gone only a moment
I hadn’t noticed the two men as they walked
toward the bar... a raucous ensued
I heard fists pounding flesh

turning in my seat Mr. Hyde had one
by the throat the other was lying
unconscious next to a pool cue
jumping to my feet I pulled off

my chum my friend... it was
then I knew gazing into the face from
half a world away war had raised
its ghostly head once more

I am not afraid to die not for
myself... I’m afraid to live with the
pain of others which I have no control
I don’t know how to soothe a child

after losing a father or console a
mother standing before an earthen hole
burying her only son I’ve felt pity
for those crippled

I’ve felt remorse for those living with
regrets after losing a pal when they’re
convinced they died because of them
I don’t need to see another friend

put his service 45 to his head
I don’t need another heroic soldier’s
grave to visit another dark wall to
leave trinkets beside or scratch etchings

there was a time before
today... and I wish we’d never
sent women into battle I wish
we still thought like men

war is hell and our children
need not learn what we have learned
so many many many times before
I’ve never forgotten the promise of my

youth... never would I allow another
Vietnam... never would I sit by
and watch another needless war
but really... what could I do?

Comments about My Promise by Dan Hanosh

  • Ivan Donn Carswell (5/21/2007 12:56:00 AM)

    Dan, you do the next best thing as best you can - write with the intensity and clarity you have, describing what you see, telling it like it is. There is always hope while people like yourself hold fast to the promise. Rgds, Ivan (Report)Reply

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Poem Submitted: Thursday, May 17, 2007

Poem Edited: Saturday, February 26, 2011

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