A Heart in Razor Wire - ©Christopher Jones 2020

Life was sweet in Crawford County
Though we worked from sun to sun
All my brothers they were hunters
But I never shot a gun

On the day they drew my number
I went out behind the shed
And I cried like some l'il baby
Thinking I would soon be dead

We were bussed up to Milwaukee
Our draft notice in our hands
To find out who would get lucky
And escape from Vietnam

Farm boys had no doctor's letters
Had no deferments, told no lies
When that bus got back to farmland
We were whispering our goodbyes

The first time I heard the mortars
And saw the gunships flashing fire
A white terror took my breath away
And wrapped my heart in razor wire


We fought in the jungle
On the Delta, in the rice
The land was never our land
And yet we paid the price

The brothers from the ghetto
From the factories and farms
We sometimes died in bunches
Sometimes in each other’s arms

And every time I heard the mortars
Saw the gunships flashing fire
That same terror took my breath away
And wrapped my heart in razor wire


When I came back to Crawford County
No one would look me in the eye
Janie took me out of pity
She would hold me when I'd cry

The cocaine made me jumpy
The junk it made me nod
I lost my place, I lost my grace
And I slept out in the yard

And I still heard the mortars
I saw the gunships flashing fire
That same terror took my breath away
And wrapped my heart in razor wire


Janie says that she still loves me
But she can't do this no more
The only sound that's worse than gunshots
Was when I heard her slam the door

Now I go down to the Legion
Pabst Blue Ribbon and a shot
We talk about the hard times
That's what left, it's all I've got

And at night I hear the mortars
I see the gunships flashing fire
That same terror takes my breath away
And wraps my heart in razor wire