by Dan Wilcox

Hugh Thompson, Jr.[Hugh Thompson Jr., who died on January 6, 2006, was a former Army helicopter pilot, who, on March 16, 1968, with door-gunner Lawrence Colburn and crew chief Glenn Andreotta came upon U.S. ground troops killing Viet Namese civilians in and around the village of My Lai. They landed their helicopter in the line of fire between U.S. troops and Viet Namese villagers and pointed their weapons at the soldiers to prevent more killings. They also evacuated civilians who had been hiding in a bunker, then landed again to pick up a wounded child. Andreotta was killed in battle three weeks later; Colburn is still living and was with Thompson when he died in the Veterans Affairs Medical Center outside New Orleans. The three were honored in 1998 with the Army's Soldier's Medal, the highest award for bravery not involving conflict with an enemy. -- Dan Wilcox]


We are just ordinary people
living in ordinary times
meeting face to face
with other ordinary people
across the gulf of extraordinary evil
We are just men & women
facing each other
with guns in our hands
with pens, hammers, screwdrivers
brushes & keyboards
doing what this moment
calls for to us to do across
the gulf of extraordinary evil
to become heroes in
ordinary times.

Dan Wilcox Dan Wilcox is the host of the open mic at Lark Street Bookshop in Albany, N.Y. on the third Thursday of each month and is a member of the poetry performance group "3 Guys from Albany." As a photographer, he claims to have the world's largest collection of photos of unknown poets. He has been a featured reader at all the important poetry venues in the Capital District & throughout the Hudson Valley and is an active member of Veterans for Peace.

He also publishes poetry under the imprint, A.P.D. (albany's poetic device, another pleasant day, etc.), the alternative press for Albany's poets, including such poets as Anthony Bernini, Rachel Zitomer, Don Levy, and Dina Pearlman. His own poems have been published in Out of the Catskills, The Second Word Thursday Anthology, We Speak for Peace, Chronogram, in numerous small press journals and anthologies, and on the internet, and he was a finalist for the 1998 Allen Ginsberg Poetry Awards.