James H. Smith


I sit in my place forever in time, a black chevron scar
Gorged from the face of God’s green earth
My face, polished black granite
Five times ten thousand names etched there on
I watched as thousands they came
Leaving my feet wet with their tears
No longer do crowds come, just the homeless huddle near
Time has dimmed the memories, left living here
A day, a week, years, time has moved on
A score or more wars, beyond my time
Their memories live deep still, held within my soul of stone
Sheltered, harbored, cherished and kept alive
I watch as they return, to look again upon my face
Those whose names are there forever etched
I watch those who came to touch a name, hold a memory and cry
To the earth gone now, of them only my memories remain
I watch loved ones lost and those who came to cry
Laughing, holding hands, young again, finding their dream
A black granite wall may not move or speak, but I may look
Not only at what is here, I also look and see what is beyond
I am The Wall, I stand, I see, I live
On both sides of the Veil

IWVPA Double Tap Award for War Poetry: February 1, 2009
Awarded: February 1, 2009