Simon Vincent Ladd


Simon Vincent Ladd

The eldest son of an Irishman,
Was Simon Vincent Ladd.
Raised outside of Washington,
When times were not that bad.
Men valued what they had.

Born in the winter of '56.
When it was good to be alive.
Penny jars and muscle cars,
Women with tall beehives.
Glasses over sized.

Half Catholic and half Protestant,
Were Simon's mom and dad.
Both got married way too young,
Victims of a social fad.
They struggled for all they had.

In '59 war broke out,
In North and South Vietnam.
Determined to stamp communism out,
We fought the Viet Cong.
Many felt it was wrong.

A brand new decade, 1960.
Simon Vincent turned four.
His parents barely managed each week,
On $100 or more.
It was tough being poor.

In that year's election,
John F. Kennedy won.
Despite some strong objections,
The war carried on.
Many cried we didn't belong.

When he was seven, Simon recalled,
His father was 25.
A handsome man, slender and tall,
Quite the athletic guy.
It was a balmy July.

Later on that summer, of 1963,
Two hundred thousand men of color,
Marched on Washington, D.C.,
Led by a Doctor named Martin Luther,
They shared a collective dream.

Times got worse, money was short,
Even his mom got a job.
The month before, Kennedy was shot,
More went to Vietnam.
People feared the nuclear bomb.

In '64 his sister was born,
Life got twice as tough.
His dad jumped 'round from job to job.
Tried different kinds of stuff.
Nothing seemed enough.

In '65 his father decides,
To sign up for the war.
Despite resistance from his wife,
He walks right out the door.
Things got worse than before.

Soon new checks came rolling in,
Dad finally found steady work.
They got a letter now and then,
A picture was an extra perk.
Mom no longer worked.

In '67 Simon was eleven,
His sister was almost 3.
That Doctor spoke in New York City,
He was hailed a modern King.
It was a tenuous thing.

He opposed the war and poverty,
Spoke of life beyond.
He forged a war for equality.
Was anti-Vietnam.
Cautiously, life moved on.

Though his father never bothered,
To visit or phone home.
The checks kept coming,
While Simon was becoming,
A young man on his own.

On April 4th of '68 Dr. King was shot.
It affected Simon a lot.
Many people protested, many people fought,
King haters boasted, he deserved what he got.
Simon thought definitely not.

That same year, with the election near,
Another Kennedy died.
How it happened wasn't clear,
He remembered his mother cried.
Simon just sat and sighed.

The war raged on in Vietnam,
As Nixon became President.
In '69 Apollo 11 set a precedent.
On July 16th the moon became,
Man's newest residence.

In July of '69,
Simon's baby sister turned five,
It was a turbulent time.
Simon's father was still alive,
The family still survived.

One month later, in mid August,
Four hundred thousand arrived.
At Yasgur's farm in a place called Woodstock,
A concert, rain or shine.
The largest of it's kind.

The decade turned and so did Simon,
A muscular, bright 14.
Everyday day the news reminded him,
How terrible war can be.
It was all he'd ever see.

In May that year a shooting occurred,
At a Ohio University.
Four students died, at Kent State.
As guards shot radomly.
In a protest violence free.

A telegram came later that month,
Simon remembered getting the mail.
His mom immediately opened the letter,
Then suddenly turned totally pale.
He consoled her to no avail.

He read that day his dad was missing,
He'd been listed MIA,
Lost somewhere in Northern Asia.
Around Memorial Day,
All the Ladds could do was pray.

To make things worse the income stopped,
Mom no longer got dad's checks.
Soon she had to go back to work,
The whole thing was one big mess.
That's how it went, he guessed.

The war raged on against the Viet Cong,
It was now in year eleven,
New York City opened tower one,
It seemed to reach to Heaven.
Simon's sister turned seven.

In '71, Simon had begun,
To look like a full grown man.
He helped his mom best he could,
Did what a 15 year old can.
The Beatles were his favorite band.

Later that year tower 2 appeared,
Majestically by one's side.
They called them twins, America cheered.
No one could match their size.
Simon wondered if that was wise.

In '72, Simon knew,
His dad would never come home.
Mr. Ladd gave all he had,
Now rested all alone.
In some God forsaken zone.

The President visited China,
Was re-elected that same year.
Tragedy struck the Munich Olympics,
As 11 Israeli's disappeared.
It was many folks greatest fear.

At 16 Simon realized,
If the war went on.
Its he who would be victimized,
Forced to carry on.
Soon the draft would come..

He thought alot about his father,
For many a sleepless night.
Sometimes he would sit and wonder,
What it was like to fight.
Was it wrong or right?

One thing always made him sad,
How much he missed his dad.
It had been seven years,
Of missing what he had.
How could he not be mad?

The year became '73 and still they got no word.
They'd asked for confirmation.
Sought what they deserved.
They got no information.
Simon would not be deterred.

Just when it seemed hopeless,
That the end was no where near.
A ceasefire was called on the 28th day,
Of January that new year.
Many didn't care.

There was still no word on Simon's father,
Or hundreds of MIA's.
Why would anyone even bother,
To search for them anyway?
God bless the USA.

On a blistery day in November, 1973,
A day Simon will remember,
The Lord shined mercifully.
There came a knock at the front door.
Of Simon Vincent Ladd.
When he opened it, there he stood.
Simon Vincent's Dad.

Copyright © December 2009
Kevin Mooney


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Rhymer commented on Simon Vincent Ladd


An epic write down memory lane, quite a talent being displayed in this epic write. 10 from me.

simoneaugustus commented on Simon Vincent Ladd


You, my friend, are like 10 gallons of talent in a 5 gallon bucket. Enough said. ;)

erroneousflint commented on Simon Vincent Ladd


A superbly elegiac poetic documentary , that awakened me with a smack to the face, with the unfolding of the chronological pieces of history, I was so part of.....Both remarkable to memory and that which is seeking sanctuary to the past... One of my top 3 on this site for sure

rsalassi commented on Simon Vincent Ladd


see private message..........................................

Teardrops commented on Simon Vincent Ladd


Kevin i had a lot of friends go to Nam and never return this poem was a great time line and i am glad you let me read it . Loved it Marie



Thanks Marie. This was a poem I wrote last year that somehow never got posted. I'm glad you liked it. Kevin

Poetry is not a turning loose of emotion, but an escape from emotion.

T. S. Eliot (1888-1965) American-English poet and playwright.

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