Vietnam War Wound

Dean Sobers

This man and his scar, they get talking one night.
The man says ‘you’re really pretty – you know that?’
The scar blushes and says ‘Oh you character, you.’
The man shakes his head and says ‘No – no – cross my heart…
You know what? – you don’t do yourself justice.
You know what I’m going to call you?’
The scar blushes, speechless. The man goes
‘I’m going to call you my Vietnam war wound.’

The scar says ‘But I’m not a Vietnam war wound.’
The man says ‘Well, anyway – it’s your new name.’
The scar says ‘But I couldn’t be a Vietnam war wound.’
The man strokes the scar’s face
with a bit of wet tissue. He coos to it softly
‘You could be anything you want to be
if you put your mind to it.’ The scar says nothing
It’s not quite sure what to say.

‘Just a little bit of blusher…’ the man continues,
‘…some definition on those lines…’
He concentrates. The scar whimpers a little.
‘…the girls’ll love you,’ the man says.
‘But they won’t believe me,’ the scar says.
‘You just leave all the talking to me,’ the man says.
‘But I don’t even know what Vietnam looks like-‘
‘Sshh!’…The scar does as it’s told.

The man pretties it up but by the time he’s done,
the scar is embarrassed. So embarrassed that the man
has to cover it up. ‘I’ll call you Vivi for short.
You’ll look great in a few days.’
A few days later Scar – or Vivi –
get’s to see itself in the mirror.
What it sees breaks its tiny inoculated heart.