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


Thank God For My Son

You watched your son,

Go of to war,

in ’68’,

And words like,

Vietnam, Saigon,

And the Viet-Kong,

Became dinner time,



You found yourself jumping,

Everytume you received a call,

On that old rotary phone,

You found yourself jumping.

Every prayer you prayed,

Revolved around that little boy,

Whose diapers,

You not so long ago changed,

And finally the day came,

Your little boy was home from war,

No longer a little boy,

But a man,

With memories of war,

but still you find yourself,


Thank God For,

Bringing my son home.

Copyright Michelle R Kidwell


All Rights Reserved

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


They Fought So You Don’t Have To

Anti War Protesters across from the Memorial tribute at the old courthouse, I understand freedom of speech, but what about Tact??? Who do you think fought for that right…

You stand out there

Talking about the evils of this war

And in doing so disrespecting

Those whose names

Are on that wall.

I understand freedom

Of speech

But whose blood

Whose limbs

Do you think

Paid for that right.

Copyright Michelle R Kidwell


12:07 A.M PST

The Good Fight

For All The Veterans Past and Present, I salute you.

They heeded the call

Took the fight

They wore the uniform

With pride

They were laughed at

Spit at scoffed at

Called Child Killer

And Much worse

By those who took for granted

The very freedom

That these heroes fought for.

They shed blood

In Germany

In Saigon

In the Battlefields

Of Afghanistan

They gave their lives

Gave their limbs

Came back injured

Didnt come back at all

They were prisoners

In strange lands

Fighting a fight of terror

Praying for the light to shine through the darkness.

They fought the good fight

And this is my salute to them.

Copyright Michelle R Kidwell


8:10 P.M PST

He Doesn’t Talk Much

He doesn’t talk much

About Vietnam

But the stories he would
Tell if he talked

Would speak of a boy

Come back a man

Fighting in a strange

Foreign land

Watching as his comrads


I know he lost friends

In the war that is to painful

To speak of

Friends who left boys

And died heros.

He does not talk much

But the stories he tells

In his silence

Speak enough.

Copyright Michelle R Kidwell


1:06 P.M PST

She Dreams of Walking

Let’s pause and remember the true heros not only today, but everyday…

She dreams of walking

On feet that are her own.

Dreams of the days

When she ran free

Before war

Had changed

So much.

She dreams

Of days

Before bombs


And enemies

With strange

Sounding names

Played through her mind.

Copyright Michelle R Kidwell


11:05 A.M PST

They Came Home

They came home

The one’s left with the memories

The one’s who has a war still going on in their heads.

They came home with memories of buddies going down.

The one’s that suffer a lifetime of emotional pain.

Yet so many treat them like the enemy, instead of the one’s who fought for our freedom.

They came home to waiting families, trying to move on from the memories of war!  Knowing what they fought for, but so many calling them the enemy.  As they watched Buddies, brothers and sisters fall.

They came home left to tell the widows, the widowers the Orphans of the one’s who came home in body bags, and flag draped coffins of the heroics of the one’s lost in war!

Copyright Michelle R Kidwell


10:00 P.M PST

It Was His Call

It was his call

That hero who nearly risked it all.

His country called him

The day our freedom was tested.

It was his call

A hero to us all.

He knew the stories

So many did not come home

He knew the sacrifice

Could be of his life

But he thought of his Savior

And the foundation of this country

And he remembered

The sacrifices of all

The heroes who had

Fought the battle.

Copyright Michelle R Kidwell


2:11 P.M PST