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

My flashbacks…

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 ©





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