T H E   W A L L

His grey hair messed up by the cold wind,
As he slowly proceeded along the long wall,
He let his fingertips run over the names,
He remembers the camaraderie, the many friends,
He thinks back to a time long ago,
The horror flashes through his mind,
The noise still penetrates down to his soul,
He shutters and shakes like a leaf in the wind,
Tears run down is cold red cheeks,
A soft sob comes from deep down his throat,
They went to serve their country,
Returning to taunts and cat calls,
The people he thought he was fighting for,
They despised him, spit in his direction,
He spent the better of two years,
Fighting an enemy he couldnít see,
Now, he remembers, so many didnít come home,
He had been in Rehab at the VA a long time,
It had taken many years to build the courage,
To come to the long black wall of names,
As tears fell, he rolled away in his wheelchair,
His platoon had not come back,
He had left his legs behind,
He knew he should have died with them,
Finally, at last, he could forgive himself.

Wolfgang Hummel
© 2004

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