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Vietnam Wall

Beth Watkins Avatar  Send Soup Mail  Block poet from commenting on your poetry

Below is the poem entitled Vietnam Wall which was written by poet Beth Watkins. Please feel free to comment on this poem. However, please remember, PoetrySoup is a place of encouragement and growth.

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Vietnam Wall

The black wall reflected my white-washed skin 
and disheveled jacket, above the chattering din...
Loosly lopsided glasses hang limply on my face,
Cold, dark, black, they somehow seemed to fit this place. 
The smooth memorial seemed to stretch on,
Longer than death itself;a banner, a chord, an unsung hero's song.

                               ...

Memories race through my unsettled mind, 
The dense rainforest reverberates right behind...
Exploding artillery, I see several comrades fall down.
They lay moaning or silently still on the densely foliaged ground.
Like tin soldiers, “Playing dead,” I force myself to believe 
Trying to dam the tide of fear, for death is all I see.
“Will, help!" a young and bloodied soldier calls to me.

Hands gruffly grabbed my shoulder; I meet my commander’s steely eyes,
Torn, bruised, and bloody... I could see he wasn't surprised.
“We won’t survive with extra baggage. Retreat to the copter, now!” 
He hollered hollowly, his featured in a ragged, downcast bow.

Pondering quickly: Die a hero? Or forever regret today? 
Without a hesitation, I hoisted that young man up right away.
He seemed light, until I picked up another, fallen on the beaten path.
The odds were all against me; flying bullets unfurled their wrath.
Lifting yet another, I wrapped him silently around my tired arm.
The day I died, two comarades were saved and taken away from harm.

                               ...

And for a single breathless moment, I thought that I had seen myself,
In the teary-eyed man reading these lost names all by himself.
Now and forever, my name will be a simple written sprawl. 
An etching in a stone, a memoir to this black unyielding wall.


Beth Watkins
3/7/11
~Dedicated to those heroes who have died to defend our freedom.~

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  1. Date: 7/14/2011 10:08:00 PM
    , Congratulations on your contest entry! Thank you for entering your dedicated poem in my contest and also for supporting my contest. Have yourself a great and wonderful night. Sorry for the late congrats,..p.d

  1. Date: 7/13/2011 11:47:00 AM
    Congrats on your win, Beth. Nice going. xxxRalph

  1. Date: 7/13/2011 10:44:00 AM
    Congratulations Beth for your win in the contest "best dedication poem" sponsored by P.D. Love, Carol

  1. Date: 7/13/2011 10:28:00 AM
    I knew it..this is a winner..Tender to my heart..Congrats to you on your win..

  1. Date: 7/13/2011 8:24:00 AM
    Congrats Beth on your exciting win with this sensitive and emotional entry luv.. a brilliant beauty ..enjoy..

  1. Date: 7/13/2011 4:10:00 AM
    My congratulations on this win in the contest of p.d., beth

  1. Date: 7/12/2011 10:51:00 AM
    Good writing and a wonderful Poem on Vietnam.So detailed. I lost most of my high school friends to that war.I have 2 brothers who were there .Luckily they returned home.hugs to you.

    Watkins Avatar Beth Watkins
    Date: 7/13/2011 7:55:00 AM Block poet from commenting on your poetry


    Thanks for your uplifting compliment; seeing the Vietnam Memorial is a very touching testament to me of our soldiers' courage! I'm sorry for your losses, those young men were truly heroes!