The Wall

Louis Faber

The wall is black granite,

highly polished be an unseen hand

and the fingers of countless thousands

present but each unseen by the others.

 

At first glance you want to count

the names, but you lack fingers

enough for the task and others

are quickly withdrawn as are their eyes.

 

You know where the names are,

Willy, who they now call William,

Little Joey, who was so large in your

memory, climbing into the cockpit.

 

You wonder if things had been different,

if you hadn't enlisted, chosen

the Air Force, if the Draft Board

anointed you cannon fodder, who

 

would trace their fingers along

the cold unfeeling stone that has

been washed by untold tears bidding

you farewell or thanks, rarely both.

 

We have grown so good at wars

we no longer need etched walls,

bronze statues, for before a design

is complete the next must be begun.

Louis Faber’s work has previously appeared in South Shore Review (Canada),The Poet, Glimpse, Dreich (Scotland), The Alchemy Spoon (UK),  Atlanta Review, Arena Magazine (Autsralia), Exquisite Corpse, Rattle,    Eureka Literary Magazine, Borderlands: the Texas Poetry Review, Midnight Mind, Pearl, Midstream, European Judaism, Greens Magazine, The Amethyst  Review, Afterthoughts, The South Carolina Review and Worcester Review, and in small journals in India, Wales, Ireland, Pakistan, China and Japan, among many others, and has been nominated for a Pushcart Prize.

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