April 30, 1975: An Ending with Footnotes

With temperature 105 and rising,

America dreams of a white Christmas

over and over and over.

            Final departure from Vietnam April 30, 1975 of U.S. token forces.

Armed Services Radio Saigon triggered final evacuation

with code words “105-degrees and rising” followed by

“White Christmas” played in a loop.

Monsoon dawn stretches out while

Lady Ace squawks Tiger! Tiger! Tiger!

and places an unceremonious period

behind the empty enclosure.                                      

                                                                                    Lady Ace 09 Sea Knight helicopter broadcasts “Tiger! Tiger is out of his cage.”

                                                U.S. Ambassador Graham Martin leaves Vietnam.

The U. S. Embassy vacant at 4:58 a.m.

An imprecise defeat

a dubious accomplishment

over and over and over.

American military forces depart Vietnam after twenty years.

Generations continue to debate wins, losses, and prices paid,

Korea, Kuwait, Iraq, Afghanistan.

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