Richard D. Preston, Anthony W. PahlLucille J. Biscaglio
THE “ANGEL OF THE WALL” TRILOGY
ANGEL OF THE WALL
For years I have tried to gather strength
Yet I could not stand before you for any length
I’d hurry past your panel, number and row
The closer I got the faster I would go
Afraid to glance, afraid to touch,
for fear the pain would be too much,
But then my Brother
how could you possibly know?
In time of sorrow in time of grief
when you cannot find relief,
When all seems lost
and you realize the sacrificial cost,
you search and search yet do not see
and you wonder why you continue to be.
For in your own eyes you have failed
as the times of your life before you sail,
The soul cries, the spirit wails
Just when you think you are all alone
When there is no way on earth you can touch the stone
Think again my brothers, think again.
Early in the morning hours
I stopped in solitude to lay some flowers,
No one around;
not a solitary sound,
just the beat of my heart,
the tears from my eyes.
The cold black stone echoed my muffled cries,
and then the glow.
Startled I looked up and saw your name
I stood before you without guilt, or shame
I reached; I touched then traced your name
Your face, in an instant, before me came.
The pain had gone. Peace overwhelmed me
for the first time since Vietnam I felt free.
Then I smelled the fragrance of heaven’s incense.
My crutches fell, my legs no longer bent
I stood upright, in the dead of night
In the arms of an Angel, held so tight,
I thought I’d lost it, I thought I’d fall
Then I Saw Her –
The Angel of the Wall.
Peace My Brother, Peace.
©Copyright September 4, 2001 by Richard D. Preston
I KNOW THE ANGELS
My epitaph is written in words my family knows so well
And beneath the soil of my native land, my body rests a spell.
The lawn is mowed, the flowers new, and the headstone – it doth gleam.
The cost? My life! It was taken so my countrymen can dream.
Those dreams are for the freedom of our thoughts and of our words
And they are dreams of happiness and peace to all on earth
With dreams to believe in what we will and never be denied
and dreams that hope and justice will never be decried.
So my friend, my mortal bones have returned back whence they came
But my soul soars free in freedom’s land and I hear you call my name
Yes! Loudly I can hear you call for the time is drawing nigh
When you stand in front of the granite shrine and allow yourself to cry.
I will be watching and listening too, as you walk down to my name
With feet that are no longer yours and a mind that’s numb with pain
It will have taken you more than thirty years to walk those last ten yards
But The Angels Of the Wall are there and they will be your guides.
You have dreamed often of those Angels, for I have read your words
And the pleas and prayers that you have said, I have always heard
But the time has not, till now, been right for you to cross the line
That line can only be ever crossed with a bridge built over time.
God arranged a friend from far away to help you reach that bridge;
A friend who’ll lend a steady hand as you crest that awesome ridge
For together you can reach the line that apart you’ve failed to reach
And when you do, you both will find the direction that you seek.
©Copyright September 6, 2001 by Anthony W. Pahl
He has carried them so far
in his heart, on his mind
With every step, every breath
always with him, all the time.
This burden has bowed him,
though his shoulders are strong.
He has carried them so far;
the journey’s been long.
How long he has traveled
But he’ll carry them always
this mission, his own.
They’re his friends; they’re his brothers
Till the end, from the start
Oh no, they’re not heavy –
the weight’s in his heart.
Within and without
awake; little sleep
each day finds them closer
but the struggle is deep.
As he carries them closer
inside he feels fear.
The steps now are harder
because they’re so near.
He’s carried them with him
though he didn’t know where
He knows he can make it;
they almost are there.
He struggles these last steps
he knows he won’t fall
he’ll carry his brothers
to their names on The Wall.
Both souls and survivors
the best of the best
they’ve traveled together –
Together they’ll rest.
©Copyright September 10, 2001 by Lucille J. Biscaglio