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.

Black Stone

by Nailah Penic

Names without a voice

Lost without words

Buried soldiers unspoken

Raindrops shed from my eyes as I see my reflection.

Pow! Pow?

I am brought to a place where women and children are the enemy.

Guns are life and death

Good luck charms?

Boom! Boom!

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.

 Image

Honor

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.

 

Morning

By Samantha

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.

 Image

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.

Hurt families.

Torn hearts.

Taken lives.

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.

 

Poetic Justice

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

Painful War

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!

Faces

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

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