In the Silence of the Night
In the quiet of the night, my dream goes,
I walk alongside The Wall…
The black granite feels cold
My fingers slowly caress the depth of names
It’s so cold, the dew has blanketed the green pasture
The light softly reflects through the Vietnam Veterans Memorial…
From the forest of names, a soldier walks out
Things become alive...
I recall my days
When I was a child of war
The soldier is awaiting
His silhouette stands larger than life
Oh, my life once was etched with bullets, bombs, booby traps
Started by the Communists breaches of Peace…
Geneva 1954, Paris 1973
My village was engraved by the communist deed: atrocities
My home was leveled when they flew their flag from the roof
From the refuge in the next village
I was coming back to feed my chickens and pigs
I was caught by a VC
He stuck his gun on my chest,
"Are you coming back to spy for the Americans?"
I was frozen…
My memories stay still at The Wall
The soldier's silhouette starts to move…
I kneel down at the foot of the long V-shaped Wall
The dew on the grass wets my knees
The soldier reaches for me with his open arms
He reads my mind, he sees my past
He feels my pain
He whispers, "I am so sorry…
I was there to fight for you, I know…"
I feel his warmth
His indescribable sacrifice
He wipes my tears,
"Son, I am sorry that communism is so diabolical…"
He holds me tight
He looks into my eyes,
"Be strong, son, you are safe now in America,
My home sweet home."
He turns and walks back into the forest of names,
Joining the silence of the night…
Linh Duy Vo
(The Boy in the Poem)
Sunday, 21 December 1997 ©
© Copyright by Linh Duy Vo. All rights reserved.