copyright Apr 1994 all rights reserved
revised copyright Oct 1994 all rights reserved
My father taught me to be strong
in various ways.
My mother taught me to feel for others
and that feeling ran deep.
Then I went to Vietnam
and watched my brothers die.
We lived in firebase Libby, Gladys, Nancy
and in the bush.
I had to trade my feelings
for my sanity.
Never got my feelings back.
Didn't keep my sanity.
Got to keep rage, hate, anger, despair
and give up the gentle emotions.
Now 24 years gone by,
and writing it out
has helped me to start to feel again.
Ask Michele, my wife.
I'm afraid to go to the Wall.
I don't want to go to the Wall.
I am, above all, a coward.
I'm not afraid of what it will stir up.
Writing has already done that for me.
I have enough to keep me busy.
I'm not afraid of my shades
as I know them already.
'cause I've about forgotten their names,
and I don't want the names back.
I've got their faces.
I've got their laughter.
I've got their cries an' moans.
And I can hear their silence.
I'm just starting to feel again.
I'm not afraid of the Wall because
of the what it may bring back.
I'm afraid of what it may drive away--
the gentle feelings.
I'm afraid the curtain will come down again
and the kind emotions trying to return will be gone.
I'm not afraid of what the Wall will make me feel.
I'm afraid I'll feel Nuthin',
and I don't want Nuthin' back.