Poem by Peter W. Owens

The Fall of Saigon

Imagine yourself in Saigon, April 29, 1975. Imagine yourself on the American Embassy grounds.
Imagine sweating out a rocket barrage at 3:58 A.M. Imagine the runways being ripped to shreds.
Imagine resorting to helicopters to evacuate the grounds. Imagine the throaty roar of the choppers as they swoop down. Imagine being told you can't rescue your true love from the eternal hell of chaos befalling the city. Imagine that you are in the last group of Marines to leave the Embassy. Imagine your true love half a world away, on the other side of the gate. Imagine the panicked screams of civilians as they scramble over the wall. Imagine the ambassador saying that he'll take no more civilians on board. Imagine holding civilians at bay, when every last fiber of your being wants to bring them with you. Imagine the sun going down, and rising again, as the evacuation continues.
Imagine the ambassador leaving on the next to last chopper convoy. Imagine your captain screaming for you to get into the last helicopterout of the Embassy. Imagine your best friend having to haul you into the final helicopter, trying to talk you out of a hopeless cause. Imagine screaming out in terror as you leave behind the only one in the world you love. Imagine having nightmares about her for a long time. Imagine the terror of rebuilding your life from scratch.