Master Sergeant Stickley

Terry Hertzler
Horizontal close of a fanned plant.
Photo by Armando Castillejos

Doubled his money each time he sold 
U.S. greenbacks, illegal in Vietnam, 
on the black market, wife sending 
cash through the mail. Smooth scam.  

Except, greenbacks migrated 
to the Vietcong, could buy anything, 
weapons from the Soviet Union, 
rockets and mortars carried 
on the backs of peasants 
down jungle trails for weeks 
to launch at U.S. camps and firebases.  

Took the legs from Danny Anderson, 
19, in-country just three weeks 
from near Marion, Ohio, where his family 
had a small farm, grew corn mostly.

Terry Hertzler has worked as a writer, editor, and teacher for more than thirty years. His poetry and short stories have appeared in The Writer, North American Review, Margie, Literal Latté, Nimrod, and Stand Up Poetry: An Expanded Anthology. He has published numerous chapbooks as well as two books of poetry and short fiction: The Way of the Snake and Second Skin. He has been nominated twice for a Pushcart Prize.