A Knock At The Door

I lived off-base in Okinawa with my first husband from 1967-1968. One night living in a secluded area without a phone or car a young soldier on leave from Vietnam decided to harass me. I was not frightened but it really began to annoy me after some time. This poem is a description of the experience.

A Knock At The Door

Pitch black no one around
silence upon the grounds
after ten, all had gone
a knock at the door.

Across from
McToureous Marine Base
in a compound with no phones,
no car, no English.

It was late that night
For a knock at the door
I went to answer but
there was no one there.

Puzzlement nudged me,
I know that I had heard
the hand of someone knocking.
Then again came the knock.

I opened wide and looked
from side to side
just empty space
no fear just curiosity.

Again came your knock.
I went round the house
beyond the light you stood
why knock and hide I said?

Then understanding came,
I went back inside and locked up tight.
You tossed light pebbles
at the glass that night.

Two hours you tossed.
“Remove your clothes,” you said.
“dance for me.” I am
on leave from Vietnam.

I have not seen a
woman for so long.
“Please dance for me. I want to see.”
I shoved a knife through the window.

“You pervert you,” I said.
Fear crawled up my side.
On the floor my baby cried.
When will someone come?

You kept this up for hours, nothing but
Monsoon shutters between us.
I heard a car, it was
the Sarg next door home early.

My being then relaxed
He called my husband at Torii Station.
You were to flee my midnight friend
I wonder today are you OK?

Did you recover from your delirium?
Did you recover from your wounds?
Did you leave Vietnam? Or did you return
To come home in a wooden box?

© Liz Rice-Sosne

Placed at Poets United Poetry Pantry

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9 thoughts on “A Knock At The Door

  1. wow. scary moment, makes me wonder a bit about the guy, he was probably a bit gone with what he had seen and needed a bit of reality to bring him back…but scary…i am glad the neighbor came home and off he ran…intriguing though that you still wonder about him…

  2. This was a very chilling post, Liz. I understand your fear. I am so glad nothing more happened, that finally the sarg from next door came home. I am sure you wonder about the man outside War is definitely hell, though that kind of behavior is not excusable in any way.

  3. It must have been so frightening. I wish the seargant would’ve taken that poor soldier to a shrink. Living on the edge for months would have removed any fears of the consequences of his harassing you.

Your words of response are greatly appreciated.

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