Monday, July 23, 2018


Credit: Photo by D.P. de la Vega
In training, 1989 - U.S. Naval Lt. Comm. Marvin J. de la Vega (retired)

For Lt. Comm. Marvin J. de la Vega -Desert Storm, 1991

Viper Surfboards and Gear was the logo on the T-shirt
in the classes' first line formation: to cut hair.
So, now they call him "the Viper",
Little Brother, local boy, surfer,
from the day he could walk,
he's had those webbed feet,
from the Wedge, to the
break at North Shore.

And now he falls into line for inspection
with his class one American erection,
he's hard for the sky, he's Sky Walker, the Jedi,
straight up, the desired direction.

And I say, who would've thought Little Brother
would give up the earth's seven seas,
in pursuit of the big blue tease,
that only a chosen few can claim,
he plays the military game,
a Bishop, a knight, a king,
to me, that punk kid,
the little bed-wetter
the one that was always crying,
who'd run out the door during family heat
to jump off a ramp with his bike,
with all the other little snot-nosed tikes,

the faster,
the higher,
the better.

And speed was their creed,
bruised and skinned kneed,
the pride of the ethnic mothers,
a bicycle gang of small brothers,
spinning wheels,
making innocent sounds,
from bikes to surfboards
from the surf to the sky,
through the clouds
to the stars,
heaven bound.

He called and he said, "Yvonne, I flew last night,
night flight is magical, sister, listen just close your eyes...
First you fly up to altitude 'n shut the engines off,
gliding in thru the dark, then you flare,
you pull your nose straight up
toward the belt of Orion
look out your window Yvonne
I was there!

We had a full moon so
the horizon was lit
for a guide line,
the wind was down.
We'd coast in toward the shore line
in the dark, the night silent,
like a phantom,
no sound…

We went Split-S looping, this is how it goes:
You climb up to ninety-five hundred feet,
that's just a little under two miles,
you cut your engine down to an idle,
then roll it over and stabilize,
you drop the nose again,
then turn the engines up,
it's just like a carnival ride,
you complete a one-eighty,
and then gun it, baby,
cutting' speed to the other side!"

I say, Damn! Little Brother, you are flying!
And you are truly among the elite.
Though hanging upside down
two miles up, is not for me,
I would love to be in your seat,
just once…"

Then we say good-night and I love you,
and as we hang up the phone,
I'm thinking of Sylvester Stallone,
of education and of enlistment,
Iraqi skies of purple and gold,
I'm thinking of political dissidence,
a bicycle gang in desert camo,
Top Gun, and military propaganda.
Then I think, yeah...
if flying were on my agenda,
I could be like the Viper,

just once….

About the Writer

Yvonne de la Vega is a writer for BrooWaha. For more information, visit the writer's website.
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4 comments on THE VIPER

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By Yvonne de la Vega on June 29, 2010 at 01:39 am

I loved your article about Steven King Julian. You have a wonderful insight Sir. ;D

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By JJFCPA on June 30, 2010 at 12:26 pm

Really nice work - well written.

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By Yvonne de la Vega on June 30, 2010 at 07:25 pm

Thank you JJ, I enjoy reading you as well. Love this site!

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By Yvonne de la Vega on July 02, 2010 at 04:01 am

Oh Melody - God Bless your brother and you. And yes, and especially our courageous sisters and brothers who go forward with thier very lives at risk... for us.

Thank you for the message. :)

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