Monday, May 31, 2010

Memorial Day

I sometimes go to the Vietnam memorial in Chicago to sit and think. I wrote this a few weeks ago based on one of those moments. It wasn't written with the Memorial Day holiday in mind, but I ended up calling it "Memorial Day," because that's what many days feel like.

Memorial Day

The names on the wall tell and the fountains
In the pool show who and how many died
I sit there sometimes thinking about my brothers and sisters
Young, dumb, proud, angry, scared, guilty just like me
I think of the people who are never represented at all
And of myself and sad that innocence can’t be etched into a wall

I’m there thinking and sitting and sad as a man jogs past
And a laughing young couple stops and the woman poses for a picture
A pigeon bathes in the pool of the dead listed on the wall and
I’m sitting and thinking and mad that
There is no respect for the sanctity of this place or the
Pain and sorrow and anger and guilt and fear to which it was built

I’m thinking and sitting and sad and mad when
I recognize the timbre of the voices falling into the pool
As that of all who were lost. They speak to me. “The sanctity of
This place exists not in the death it represents. Anger not that
Birds drink of our water or children run squealing across our plaza.
Life happens here. This is all we have ever wanted. Let life live.”

1 comment:

  1. that really touched me man. I'm in one of those moods tonight and reading what you wrote for the first time... i have been doing this internal debate for a few hours about the "point" about spinning in circles, going through the motions... idk, its so easy to be down in there but sometimes just as easy to come up. the little things that make you remember what it really is all about... the sound of children laughing or the breeze on a summer night from across a still dark lake...