On Desert Ground and On A Dime (Two Part Storytelling Poetry) 

On Desert Sand

She walks leaning heavily

On the wooden cane.

She’s come a long way

Since she came back from

Broken and Bloodied.

She’d never be put back together again.
She remembered those first few days

Conscious in a blur

Remembered running to the aid

Of a terrified boy

A soldier not ready to die.

She had saved his life

But nearly lost hers

She saw legs with size eight combat boots

A few feet from her and knew

Instantly what had happened.
She didn’t drift out until they

Had stabilized her

She remembered being loaded into the air ambulance

Quietly praying she’d survive

Then she drifted off to a place she was free of pain.
She woke up to strange sounds

And a familiar face

Her baby sister Courtney who was terrified of planes

Had flown to be with her.
It was hard those first weeks

To simply stay awake.

Your body healed when you slept

She knew that

But nothing could give you amputated limbs back.
When she was stabilized once more

She was sent back to the states

To Walter Reed Hospital

Her sister always by her side.
She had a long road ahead of her

She knew that

But Cheyenne was no stranger to hard Work.

Giving up was not an option

She was a Soldier, broken and battered

But she had survived.
During those moments

She felt utterly broken

Remembering that Desert

And it’s danger

But it’s beauty too

Always had a way of lifting her up.

She’d close her eyes

And see a child’s hands reach out

For a Chocolate bar

A luxury so many couldn’t afford.
Some thought of that place

As Hell but Cheyenne saw the beauty there.
“Someday I’m going back,

Not as a soldier

But I can do something to help.”
“I’ll go with you

Courtney said.” Not a doubt

In her mind her sister would do as she said.
It took her months, but she learned

To walk again

On legs of titanium and plastic

Only a hand carved wooden cane as her aid.
To Be Continued In On A Dime

On A Dime

He held out a hand eagerly

Dirty and broken

An old dog his only companion.

It hadn’t been long ago

He had been a mere boy

A soldier at eighteen

He had nearly died

In that far off land.
She nearly walked passed him

Then she looked him in the eye

That Boy Soldier from a lifetime ago

Though it had only been a few years.

The years had been not kind

To him.

And her heart hurt.

Life hadn’t been kind

She reached into her purse

For a couple of twenties then

Realized she needed to do something More.

She handed him the twenties

But had something bigger on her mind.

Life had been good to her

Even with what she had lost

On that Desert Sand.
“I know you.” He said

A glint of recognition in his eyes

“You saved my life.

I thought you had died.”
“As you can see

I am very much alive.

What happened to bring you here?”
“Life can change on a Dime.” He said

“And mine changed for the worse.
She shook her head

“This won’t do

No soldier should sleep in the streets.”
She led him to a hotel room

She rented for two weeks

By then she’d find a more permanent Solution.
“It looks like you did

Well for yourself.”
She reached in her bag and

Handed him a book

Titled “On Desert Sand, and soon he Realized despite everything

She had done well for herself.

“Thank you.” He said

As she walked out the door

On two feet that weren’t her own.
True to her word just two weeks

Later she came back to the hotel room

Where he had been staying.

Helped him gather his few belongings

And led him to her car.
“You drive?” He asked

“Yes hand controls.” She laughed.

Before long they pulled into a driveway

A tiny house

Full of all the necessary amenities.

She handed him the keys

“This is your’s.” She said

And then pointed to an F150 in the

Driveway “That’s yours too.

This isn’t a handout

But a hand up she said.

“And when you get back on your feet

You can Pay it Forward.”
He smiled at her

And said

“Once again you save my life.

Once again everything changes on a Dime.”
(C) Michelle R Kidwell


We See Images They Remember Vietnam

We read about it

In the history books

See long ago images

Playing on the T.V. Screen

But father, and grandfathers

Uncles and Brothers

Aunts, Sisters and Mothers

Watch the television screen

And memories

Of Vietnam flood their mind

Memories of watching childred die

Walking in the midst of enemy fire,

Seeing old men and women die

Poisoned by gases

Holding hands as buddies

As they breathed their last.

We see long ago images on a t.v screen

They see memories.

Copyright Michelle R Kidwell


Revised Nov.04.04

He Doesn’t Talk About it Much

He doesn’t talk about it much

But the pain is there

As he remembers

Those Hellish days

In Vietnam

When he watched buddies die

And his family sat vigil

Around the phone

Praying it wouldn’t ring

Or the telegram wouldn’t come.

He doesn’t talk about it

But some things don’t need to be said.

Copyright Michelle R Kidwell


More than a Footnote

More than a footnote

In a history book

This is real

Our hero’s are over


Fighting for freedom.

More than a footnote

In some history book

This was real

And we must

Remember that

And carry those memories on

So we can learn from the past

And not live in it.

Copyright Michelle R Kidwell


3:26 P.M PST

War Doesn’t Take Holidays

War doesnt take Holidays

And even on Christmas day

Good men fall

When war lands them

In the middle of enemy ground.

Some children will grieve

This Christmas

As Mothers and Fathers

Pay the Ultimate Sacrifice.

War doesnt take Holidays

And grief doesn’t leave

Just because its Christmas Day

So as we celebrate with Family

And loved ones

Remember the Heros

Fighting on Enemy ground

Because war Doesnt take Holidays.

Copyright Michelle R Kidwell


7:24 P.M PST

It’s More Than A Memory

A Tribute to all Who Have Served

It’s more than a memory to them

This war they served.

She lost a leg

On the streets of Kabul


Traps him in memories of Saigon.

And the Hell he experienced.

Loud noises are the worst

Taking him back to those days.

She fought her country with pride

Volunteered for service

Not forced in

Like so many tried to convince

And she would do it again

In a minute

Because she values her service.

He was drafted all those years ago

But never burned that card

Like so many did.

He was called to duty.

To fight a war on foreign land

And Lord willing to save lives

Although he had to take a few

That hurt more than the bullets flying by.

They fought for this country

With the pride of


One with generations

Behind her

The other one

A first generation Soldier.

But they fought with a sense of

Pride and dignity.

(C) Michelle R Kidwell


11:51 A.M PST