I lost a high school friend to the war in Vietnam and wrote this poem for him after seeing his name on The Moving Wall Memorial.
THE MOVING WALL
We visit The Wall the one they
pull apart cart around and lay
to rest for seven days in far
off sections of a country that
arms boys and hauls them off to
war. The women who sit in the tent
with furious July sun blazing on their
kindness give us a print out with your
name Meade, Thomas Allerton uniformly
typed below the bold faced Etched In Stone
that embodies the exhibit. My eyes cruise the page
the way your ’63 Chevy sought out chicks and my
knees begin to buckle when I capture the words
HOSTILE, DIED ARTILLERY, ROCKET, MORTAR.
A deluge of images from nightly news explode before
me and I finally discharge your death and that god
forsaken war as a rocket fire of tears flash over my face
while I whimper across the green toward The Wall.
And there you are Thomas A. Meade
standing guard on line 62 panel 37 E.
Sitting on a bench I snatch up tissues
from a box that sidles beside me
as the WELCOME HOME
in a bitter breeze.
(c) Carol Weis
His yearbook photo.
I took the rubbing from the Vietnam Memorial in DC.