When I met my husband Robert, I ran my feed store during the day and washed dishes at night, in a little cafe in a small town in Western Montana. He was driving a logging truck, and one day stopped to have his supper in the cafe where I worked.
While he was there, he noticed a painting of mine that was hanging in the cafe. The painting was one of Mohawk, an Indian pony.
Robert asked me if he could write a poem that went with the horse. Of course I said yes.
A few days later, he stopped at the cafe again, and showed me the poem he’d written.
Robert is a Viet Nam vet who’d been in the battle at Khe Sahn, as a forward observer, attached to Echo Company, on hill 861 Alpha. During the fighting, the hill was all important. Men lost their lives to keep this chunk of land. When the fighting was over, no one cared about that particular hill any longer. The living soldiers walked off to fight on new ground.
Looking back, they remembered fallen comrades, lost lives and the agony of battle.
When Robert wrote this poem, he was thinking of the battle of Khe Sahn, and “what it had really cost”. This work of art is a combination of our work, my painting and his poem, put together in Photoshop.
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