A November Trip to Washington D.C.

Autumn. I took my tourist trip to see proud Washington
The Vietnam Memorial - Gone, but not forgotten
Ranks of fallen names silvered into darkness without end
Legions of lost youth, a count I could not comprehend
The weight of numbers crushed my soul, emotions overwhelmed
It gave no hope, no sympathy, no answers that I yearned
It simply stood accusing with its lesson white on black
Upon its polished stone, my own mortality stared back
The rain came down, I turned away and saw him huddled tight
A faded bag of unwashed clothes, his scrawling black on white
"Vietnam Veteran. Homeless. Hungry. Can you help, please?"
Flocks of umbrellas hurried past, intent on their own needs
No monument, no honour roll, for those who did survive
It seems there is no glory if you merely stay alive
The war is dead and buried, but its soldiers still fight on
True Vietnam memorials - Forgotten, but not gone.

Copyright © 1995
Tim Patterson
Ithaca, NY
30th July, 1995
Revised: 12th August, 1995

Tim can be contacted by email at: tim_patterson@hotmail.com