Poetry at The Wall
We at VVMF had the pleasure of hosting a creative writing workshop at The Wall and in our own office last week. About twenty home schooled students ages 9 to 16 learned about the War from a Vietnam veteran and volunteer, Jerry Martin. The students were then challenged to write a poem based on what they had felt while visiting The Wall. Here are a few of their pieces.
by Nailah Penic
Names without a voice
Lost without words
Buried soldiers unspoken
Raindrops shed from my eyes as I see my reflection.
I am brought to a place where women and children are the enemy.
Guns are life and death
Good luck charms?
I am back again.
People are close to me
Candles and forget-me-nots surround me.
I ponder at my own name engraved on Black Stone.
By ShéKhandi L. Brooks
Memories carved into this stone
The names of these were hardly known
A battle raged, they went to war
To honor a country worth fighting for
Though some were lost
They still were found
Their memories carved in sacred ground
With flowers left by those who care
Their ancestor’s names are honored there
And those who died are now at home
To look down on us from heaven’s throne
A Vietnam Story
By Terri Christian
Specially designed walkways to think and reflect;
tiny names that tell stories with upmost respect
Offerings filled with memories lean against the stone—
flowers, cigarettes, a soldier’s previously unknown.
Small dangerous decisions made along the way,
whether to take that malaria tablet with dirty water;
or skip it today.
Keep those socks dry, Mr. Marine,
Or the river slugs will suck your body clean.
The enemy starts shooting; take cover in a ditch!
But make sure there is nothing with those sandbags,
to scare you with a hiss.
Nurses in the field waiting for a plane;
one comforts a soldier with promises of home.
Teenager Danny Bullock, disguised as a man—
did someone cry for him, knowing, his fate at hand?
Walking out of the memorial, something is still on your mind—
You are thinking of all the blood, pain, and tears lingering there behind.
Black, the color of mourning.
Morning, the start of the day.
It begins in the middle,
Just like a clock,
The patter of feet, the tick tock,
Over the cobblestone path.
A singular flower,
Shines like the sun,
In the blackness of eternal night.
The Vietnam Wall is sure to enthrall,
It’s a simple, yet powerful sight.
Thank You for My Life
By Zakira Moody
A girl, a girl … a boy, a boy … what is the difference?
It doesn’t matter who you are, or what you look like.
If you were trying to save my life,
I want to say … Thank you.
Possibly a lot of my family members
Gave their lives for us to be safe.
I went to “The Wall.”
The black veterans wall.
Thank you … for saving my life.
The Vietnam Veterans
By Shari Moody
As I look at this stone wall of black
It forces my thoughts to turn back:
To their heroes’ creed and heroic deeds.
We do not let them go unremembered,
Those of the Vietnam veterans.
In a world unknown, yes so far from home,
Their lives were risked and many gave.
But before it was over many they saved,
Those of the Vietnam civilians.
As I look at your names in the stone slab of black
I think of the thousands who wish you’d come back,
They miss you the Vietnam veterans.
For the few that returned, our respect you have earned.
While you mourn all your friends who met untimely ends,
We’ll comfort you, Vietnam veterans.
While we look at the memorial
You have memories pictorial,
We thank you the Vietnam veterans.
By Wesley Thompson
The wall cries out with hurt and pain
The people who died without warning and in vain
Friendships were made and now they are dead
I feel a great sorrow for all the things that were not said
Being in that war makes me feel so rotten
All those people that will live in my heart and never be forgotten
By Keishaun Thompson
The Vietnam Wall, so many names I can’t even write.
Bullets coming from out of sight.
You stop and pray to God for you to win.
Then you realize that it’s a sin.
Take cover, look left and right.
Then an explosion happens from dynamite.
Your friend dies from a bullet in the back.
Then you’re looking for payback.
Looking for water to drink, it would be nice.
If only somebody could send you homemade gravy and rice.
You look for a spot to camp but then you fall off the ramp.
Looking for people to kill.
But then you say to yourself, you need to chill.
Then you suddenly feel fear.
From your eye it is a tear.
You walk for a mile or two.
Then you see a wall and flag that you want to be red, white, and blue.
The Voices from The Wall
By Juju Kwedi
The gray V shrouded with land above it, every name etched in memory and in
honor. Sadness and despair, that’s what the Vietnam War brought; with it the
cries of sorrow, anger and depression. Not always understanding why they were
called to fight but they fought with bravery and courage. Voices from the wall I
hear their cries. Don’t forget the love I have for this country. Don’t forget the life
I gave. I hear you and I won’t forget, and I hurt for you……
but not as much as the mother who’s holding the medal; a cold purple heart
never again to feel her son’s warm embrace.
I Met Two Marines Today
By James Kwedi
The wall, the V shaped wall
Stands for Vietnam, the unneeded war;
Max Grooms, a fallen Marine
A man who died and gave his life for this country;
Jerry Martin, a still standing Marine;
Offered his life and survived
He told me the feeling of having a friend fall beside thee.
Emotions of pain grow and build inside,
Wondering why he died and I’m alive;
Sadness and anger, nothing but hurting all this pain makes my ears ring;
I weep and sob, having finished my job, it is hard for me to live on in pain,
Sometimes I wonder, “What did I really gain?”
War, it is no walk in the park,
With trees above my head it seems it is always dark;
That is the spot in my heart where it hurts,
Nothing can match this pain and hurt.
I am still here today, still going strong,
I have not forgotten the hurting wrong;
My friend lives on inside me,
Today and forever I will never forget thee!
By Quentin Evans
Pictures of pain we will never see
The price of war is not free
Names of heroes, they paid the fee
We must honor them that’s the key
Blood and gore
Stamped into minds, lives that are no more
All of this expressed in one symbol of war
A wall of names and the pain they bore
Burdens they took
Gave the enemy a fatal look
A look that put their names in the book
So we must honor these heroes that trudged through the bloody gook
They mustered the will
The will to kill
Fighting even though they had their fill
Dead or alive we must honor them still