Saturday, February 14, 2004

The Wall

Maybe those who believe
A piece of your soul
Is stolen with each photograph taken
Are right

Reflecting back over the years,
Looking at her tortured face
In that static image,
I wonder. I hope not, for my sake.

Hard to contemplate so many stolen moments
Pieces of others’ lives captured
By my lenses, the films’ emulsion
Now sitting in dust covered albums, yellowed envelopes and crooked frames

She stood hunched over, frozen
Jaw clenched and hands knitted,
Holding or hugging herself
Against her chill that July.
Paralyzed by her private pain
Writ large there in public, on the Mall
Countless others had and have since
Faced their own demons
In that monument’s polished black marble
(I have seen them)

For twenty minutes or a little less
I watched her pilgrimage, her prayer
A stranger motionless that stopped me
That held my attention
And the camera’s gaze before me.
Me a voyeur, an intruder, an unwelcome confidant.

She stood too near the names
To turn away;
But her feet and legs
Couldn’t carry her slight frame forward
To touch the past
The walkway before her still,
I imagine, never to be breached.

edited September 9, 2015
The Wall – v6
(editing original)
edited July 27, 2015
The Wall – v5
(editing original)
edited March 23, 2015
The Wall – v4
(editing originalagain)
edited November 11, 2014
The Wall – v3
edited May 28, 2014
The Wall – v2
posted February 14, 2004
The Wall
June 22, 2001
edited May 27, 2014
“In the Rain, in that Place – v3
edited May 26, 2014
“In the Rain, in that Place – v2”
Memorial Day
November 11, 2010
“In the Rain, in that Place”
Veteran’s Day 2010
and remembering being
at the Vietnam Memorial
Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund
during the 10th anniversary
Veteran’s Day 1992
edited May 27, 2014
Left at the Wall – v3
Edited May 26, 2014
Left at the Wall – v2
Memorial Day
August 5, 2006 18:05
Left at the Wall
All of my Veteran’s Day poems
All of my Memorial Day poems

All of my poems, photographs, and videos are copyrighted by Raymond A. Foss, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016. All rights reserved. Contact me at Ray Foss ( for usage. See all 42,390+ of my poems at Poetry Where You Live.

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