Detroit to D.C. night train, Capitol, parts East. Lone young man takes
seat. And by the rhythm of the rails, reading all his mother"s mail
city boy in a jungle town postmarked Saigon. He"ll go live his
dream, join the slowest parade he"ll ever see. Her weight of sorrows
carried long and carried far. "Take these, Tommy, to The Wall."
Metro line to the Mall site with a tour of Japanese. He"s wandering
lost until a vet in worn fatigues takes him down to where they belong.
a soldier, an ex-Marine with a tattooed dagger and eagle trembling, he
his lip beside a widow breaking down. She takes her Purple Heart,
fist, strikes The Wall. All come to live a dream, to join the slowest
they"ll ever see. Their weight of sorrows carried long and carried
taken to The Wall.
It"s 40 paces to the year that he was slain. His hand"s slipping down
Wall for it"s slick with rain. How would life have ever been the same
wall had carved in it one less name? But for Christ"s sake, he"s been
over 20 years. He leaves the letters asking, "Who caused my mother"s
was it Washington or the Viet Cong?" Slow deliberate steps are
He takes them away from the black granite wall toward the other
so white and clean.
O, Potomac, what you"ve seen. Abraham had his war too, but an honest
Or so it"s taught in school.