I was the only Brit diplomat left
At the fall of Saigon, April 75
Thought it prudent to make a sharpish getaway
And escape whilst still alive 

Just outside of the US Embassy
Amidst the panicking throng
A pretty young local girl approached me
Asked if she could tag along 

She said, ‘Kind Sir, I will marry you
And be your hearts delight
If you can take me off to Blighty
For I’m in a state of great fright’ 

‘Crikey’ was my first thought
‘You’re so young and I’m so very old
And I score you 10 out of 10 my girl
If I may be so bold’ 

Yet ever the English gentleman
I felt it best if I did explain
‘Miss let me be quite honest
For I’ve no wish to cause you any pain 

You see once I tell my story
One that brings with it little cheer
You maybe will think to change your mind
About me being your passport out of here 

I suffer from many afflictions
Perhaps more than I’m able to count
First my back is in a state of ruin
So when making love it is you who will have to ‘mount’ 

And furthermore there’s my halitosis
It’s put off many a gal
And then my arthritic hands
Will do little for your wifely morale 

Also I cannot raise one
Devoid of my vacuum pump
What with that and my wretched gout
Most girls think I am a chump 

Additionally I am prone to wind
And of course you’ll have to put up with the pong
I belch, dribble and have a tic
Maybe you should just stay here in Saigon’ 

Having heard my woeful tale
She adjusted her delightful sarong
Thought about what she should do
Then uttered, ‘I’ll take my chances with the Viet Cong’ 

I often wonder what became of her
That stunning Vietnamese beauty
Still I’m not complaining
As her younger sister herself is a cutie 

Who takes care of my every need
So no more am I so very alone
She collared me as her sibling left
Saying ‘Stuff her, get me out and back to your English home’

On a more serious take, a matter of respect for those who died…on either side, whatever the whys and wherefores, this is a ‘sad’…a simple word, yet accurate methinks…song that says it all;

Below, my new book in paperback available direct from Amazon, or on regular Kindle as well as Kindle Unlimited. All the best to one and all, whomsoever and where on this globe you may be.

Copyright © 2023. All rights reserved save for Cohen’s music and the featured image artwork, the artist unknown. Unauthorised copying, reproduction, hiring, and lending, prohibited

38 thoughts on “ROMANCE IN A TIME OF WAR

  1. Wonderful poem. Being a long time Billy Joel fan, I bought Nylon Curtain when it became available in 1983. We had a friend over for dinner who was a Vietnam Vet. I asked him if he had heard Goodnight Saigon. He hadn’t. I put it on, and my friend freaked out when he heard the Huey helicopters in the beginning of the song. He had a really strong reaction to the choppers, but he ended up loving the song.

    1. Thanks, Sir. Billy Joel has to be the master of lyrics; lyrics that tell complete stories…Goodnight Saigon a classic example. The guy is a genius and underrated by some. I’ve followed his work for years. Thanks again. Regards, Mike

  2. I hadn’t heard “Goodnight, Saigon” before. The video is very moving. Coincidentally, I am currently reading a novel about the wind down of the Vietnam War, told from the Vietnamese perspective.

    1. Thank you, Liz. There’s a couple of lines in the lyrics of this wonderful number that just about defines battles. It reads, ‘…And who was wrong? And who was right? It didn’t matter in the thick of the fight…’ perhaps that says all regarding the stupidity of war. The book you’re ready sounds fascinating. I’d like to read that one. As for my silly ‘almost’ poem, it was fun the write. All the best, Mike

      1. You’re welcome, Mike. The book is The Siege of An Lộc by Nguyen Trong Hien. I’ve also read his book Village Teacher, set in Vietnam at the end of the 19th century.

  3. I think I’m going to have to send you a bill for cleaning my computer screen, Sir… because I laughed so hard, I spit my drink! LOL! This is AMAZING! You always bring a smile to me face in in me heart. THANK YOU! ❤ xo

    1. Thank you, Sharon. The wonderful thing about writing is that I can be anyone I want to be…but I don’t think I’ll be the afflicted Englishman in this tale again. To many pills to take, methinks. All the best, Mike aka The Old Fool

    1. I’m English but, all those years gone by, I got to know a number of chaps and a few girls who were over here draft evading as they couldn’t see the sense of fighting in Vietnam. To them, unlike WW2, it was pointless. Were they right or wrong? I never did work that out, yet to this day the US soldiers over there fighting must be respected of ever. All the best, Mike

  4. I enjoyed the tale Mike. I heard many stories when I joined the Army in 1976. The end of Vietnam. Many would do anything to escape. Thank you for sharing the story and the video.

    1. Good point, young Resa. This ‘subscribing’ thing irks me. I am useless when it comes to ‘doing things’ on a computer, hence it’s nothing I’ve done. I wouldn’t touch it with a barge pole with a lonely skull on the end. Somehow the invisible monsters are playing games with my blog. They don’t even call it WP anymore on my rarely used outside of the kitchen, mobile phone. The name they’ve given it is ‘Jetpack’ and I think that might be the curse. Why can’t things be simple? That said, sorry they bothered you. Regards, TOF

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