Vietnam veteran Laurens Wildeboer with his wife Ronnie pictured at home. Photo: Simon Schluter A Vietnam veteran has held on to the poetry of an ‘enemy’ for 40 years. Around the time the Australian soldier arrived in Vietnam, one of the enemy he had been sent to fight paused after marching through the night. He sat, took out a pen and student’s notebook and wrote a poem. He called it Letter in Spring and it was addressed to ”my love who is at home”.His loved one never saw the poem and the delicate drawing that illustrated it. But the Australian did, and even though he couldn’t read it, he knew a powerful part of its meaning.As well as love, the Vietnamese soldier wrote of his patriotic duty, of how he was on the front line, on the eve of a battle that he hoped would defeat the foreign soldiers who would be ”buried in black mud”. He wrote in a flowing, sloping script and decorated the page with a drawing of a landscape showing a tiny bird sitting on a fragile branch, surrounded by blossom.The Vietnamese soldier didn’t live to see what he longed for, even though the foreign soldiers… Read full this story
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