SOUTH CHINA SEA (June 13, 2015) Lightning strikes the water as San Antonio-class amphibious transport dock ship USS Anchorage (LPD 23) navigates between storms. The Essex Amphibious Ready Group is currently operating in the 7th Fleet area of responsibility. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Liam Kennedy/Released)

Orange Poppies and Yellow Dandelions

by Jimmy Pappas

We stood together
in front of the grocery store
handing out orange poppies
and American flags
for donations to help veterans.

I listened to his explanation
of how Agent Orange
destroyed his body,
left children with birth
defects, and devastated
the land and people
of South Vietnam.

Then it was time to go home,
but first he went into the store
to get something to spray
on his dandelions because,
I hate those little yellow bastards.