Poetry about the soldiers who have died in war is inexorably sad. This is a poem that digs into your consciousness and stays there...about the Vietnam war.
by Yusef Komunyakaa,
a veteran of the Vietnam War
My black face fades, hiding inside the black granite.
I said I wouldn't, dammit: No tears. I'm stone. I'm flesh.
My clouded reflection eyes me like a bird of prey,
the profile of night slanted against morning.
I turn this way--the stone lets me go.
I turn that way--I'm inside the Vietnam Veterans Memorial again,
depending on the light to make a difference.
I go down the 58,022 names, half-expecting
to find my own in letters like smoke.
I touch the name Andrew Johnson; I see the booby trap's white flash.
Names shimmer on a woman's blouse
but when she walks away the names stay on the wall.
Brushstrokes flash, a red bird's wings cutting across my stare.
The sky. A plane in the sky.
A white vet's image floats closer to me, then his pale eyes look through mine.
I'm a window. He's lost his right arm inside the stone.
In the black mirror a woman's trying to erase names:
No, she's brushing a boy's hair.