Sunday, June 14, 2009


one boy, the brother
of a girl I barely knew
I still think of him
every last monday in may
his name somewhere on the Wall

For those of you who may not be familiar with the reference, this tanka-style poem is written about the Vietnam Memorial in Washington, D.C. In the 1960s, a girl in my church lost her older brother in that war. It was the closest that the conflict ever came to me, but I remember it to this day. The omission of certain letters normally capitalized in intentional; I wanted Wall to be the only one.

I haven't been posting much to OSI lately, and I thought I should just mention that this will probably continue. I'm currently working on a new poetry manuscript, and find that I want all my poetry energy for it. That doesn't mean I might not drop by sometime if the Muse permits, and I hope to join up again at some point. I will be continuing with this blog, just not joining in OSI. I'll miss you guys; happy writing to all!

Visit ONE SINGLE IMPRESSION for haiku and other poetic responses to this prompt.


Betsy from Tennessee said...

You are so talented, Deb.. I love your poetry.. That Vietnam was are SO senseless--but I guess all wars are.

Thanks for sharing.

anthonynorth said...

Poignant. War intrudes on so many.

Sylvia K said...

You are talented indeed and I love your words. The Wall does bring poignant memories. My kids Dad was in Vietnam for a year and he was never quite the same. It was a senseless war that damaged so many in so many different ways.

Geraldine said...

Good luck with the book project Deborah!

I'm working on one right now too. I also love OSI but sometimes the prompts don't "prompt" me LOL!!!

Hugs, G

bobbie said...

Your verse is so touching.

What I remember of Viet Nam is my son, about the age of 8, asking me if, when he grew up, he would have to go.

As of today, 5016 US dead in Iraq and Afghanistan. It never ends, does it.

Lin said...

good for you, being creative-post one of your poem. i liked the reflections on the vietnam wall...I remember those days well.

Tammie Lee said...

So sad and beautifully written too.

Quiet Paths said...

Very meaningful poem, Deb. The photo really brings it home to the heart.

Jim said...

Deborah, this is wonderful. It describes Mrs. Jim's brother, she never knew him as he died in WWII about a month before she was born. His plane was shot down over Italy.
Eugene's name is inscribed on a deceased veterans' wall in Baton Rouge. This wall covers all the wars for all the known Louisanna veterans lost.
We visit it every now and then.
Thank you. I wish I was clever enough for ideas like this to write about.

Jim said...

Deborah, I will miss your nice poems. I would also forgive you for doing quickies that don't have too much thought.
That is what I did this week, my preconceived poem was in trouble so I quickly ginned a different and lighter one up. It could use a lot of polishing.

Shellmo said...

I am in awe of your talent as a poet!

gautami tripathy said...

So touching..

And good luck with your project..

filigreed walls

Edward S Gault said...

Great to see you again!-and I wish you well with the poetry manuscript.
This poem was terrific!

Pam said...

Deborah, this is beautiful. Your poem has so much depth and emotion and yet your language is simple and sparse.

SandyCarlson said...

This is very touching. Silencing.

Anonymous said...

Good for you, Deb. I thought you might be working on something.

My brother was in Viet Nam in 1968, he was 18 years old, and did not get over it well. I guess I can say I was very close to to the war. At one time, I had at least 10 friends there, along with my brother, Gary, and brother-in-law.

Tumblewords: said...

Absolutely stunning! Good luck with your poetry book - your work surely calls for a collection!

Sue said...

Wonderful verse...I too only personally know one name on the Wall. But, I have come to know dozens of men who came home alive but damaged (mentally, emotionally or physically) -- in a way, the Wall represents them also.

Best of luck with the poetry manuscript.

gabrielle said...

names on a wall. 6 degrees of separation.

Today the Democratic-controlled House has narrowly passed a $106 billion spending bill to expand the war in Afghanistan and to continue funding the war in Iraq.

“We’re destroying our nation’s moral and fiscal integrity with the war supplemental. Another $106 billion, and all we get is a lousy war. Pretty soon that’s going to be about the only thing made in America: war." Dennis Kuchinch

I was touched deeply by your words.
Best on the project!

Patti said...

great interpretation of the prompt- I did not think of that Wall! Thanks for sharing and good luck with your poetry manuscript.

zoya gautam said...

.. just too good & ( good luck with your manuscript ) ..

Beth P. said...

oh yes,

brother of my friend as well and
dear friend of my own brother

lives never the same

been to that wall several times and other smaller ones around the country as well. Angel Fire, NM is one of my favorites.

Love this--thank you.

Poetikat said...

A mighty poem. I really like the tanka form for this.