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The Wall


Leisha Arnts

I wrote this after visiting the Vietnam Travelling Memorial Wall 
in 1997 when I was 17. 

They were my age, 
The ones in the wall. 
It could have been me; 
But it wasn't. I am too young. 
They could have been my kin. 
They probably were. All those names, 
All those lives, changed, forever. 

Why did it happen? 
Everyone has an excuse, 
No one has a real reason.
The reality, the names are staring at me 
Like souls trapped in the finality of it all. 
The cold, black wall is staring at me. 
It is over. It is finished. No more. 

It happened a long time ago, 
What could I have done? Nothing. 
A feeling of helplessness 
Washes over me 
As I again realize, 
It could have been me.

People are crying, everywhere crying. 
I want to ease their pain. 
They knew these names. 
To them, these names have faces. 
So many names, so many faces, 
So many souls, 
Dying for no apparent reason. 
Maybe, one day, I will understand. 
Maybe, someday, someone will explain why. 
Why? Why did all these people have to die?

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