The Picture

I’m looking at the picture

of my newborn child.

But only just an hour ago

the situation was wild.


I squat upon the jungle dirt

and look towards my right

and see two crumpled bodies

that resulted from the fight.


Then I read the letter says

“our daughter’s doing fine.”

“She’s a precious piece of life,

and she’s yours and mine.”


But God we just killed fathers

that were fighting in this place.

There’s other sons and daughters

that won’t see their father’s face.


Then I truly wonder if

my daughter will see me.

Tears well up inside my throat

and man just let me be.

(C) John Steinmeyer


No, it was nothing

my dear and loving wife

to tromp the mud and jungle,

survive just to take life.

Just plain fucking nothing

to live inside the strife.

Of Nothing.

For nothing marks the jungle

where Lee and Eddie fell.

And nothing says the trouble

for time we spent in Hell.

And nothing is what needs me

but nothing can I tell.

Of Nothing.

For nothings my eraser

that keeps me in the blind.

And nothing keeps me going

and nothing can I find

‘cept tell you it was nothing

so I don’t lose my mind.

For Nothing.

(C) John Steinmeyer

  1. Other Side
  2. Sniffer
  3. The Fish
  4. L.C, and L.C. 2 –Two gone, waiting for number three
  5. Poems- Sour (1) Sealed (2)
  6. Poems- In The Grinder (1) The Teller (2) 
  7. Poems- The Rifle (1) Turn (2)
  8. More to come

John Steinmeyer served in Vietnam as an Infantry Sergeant with the 9th division in the Mekong Delta, then was transferred to the 25th Division and served the last half of his tour in a sniper team.

Thuy Smith’s father (Vietnam Veteran) and Vietnamese mother along with Thuy were friends of John and his family. Two poems from a collection that John wrote of his many experiences during his time in Vietnam. The collection is titled – The Rain. See other links above for more. Thuy Smith (TSOI) was given permission to share his poems on all of TSOI’s media platforms, etc.

5 thoughts on “Poems: The Picture, Nothing

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