By Stephen Brown
Lt       USN
South Vietnam, 1972
North Vietnam, 1973

From Dulles Airport I grow impatient
Not knowing my way around.
It has taken all day,
Leaning on my cane
To make final muster at The Wall.

Anger long repressed now incites
A Mekong marsh, broken bones,
Shattered futures. At peace, brave ones,
We muster at this desolate,
This blessed knoll.

Amid children celebrating credulity
The black gates loom high in the sky,
A magnificent gates that enshrines your name
Among forgotten gods.
This vanquished leader weeps in his joy.

Here hobbles the barnswallow who once led
Eagles into the sky. And such good fortune
Is more than I deserve. Consummate honor
To you, brothers all,
From the remnants of the spark to my soul.

Stephen Brown
© 2002

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