Reflecting prisms of light from a fading sky
The black stone, as cold as the death it symbolizes.
Catching flickering candlelight that dances in darkness
it descends into hallowed ground, burying its past.
Thousands of names carved in black marble
The sacrifice of a nation.
This memorial, in the shadow of monuments,
Is a mirror of our conscience.
The black marble, shaking our memory,
Haunting us with its story.
A resting place for misplaced honor paid for in young lives
Born in conflict and erected in turmoil.
You can hear it in the wind
Sounds that transcend time
Voices of protest, cries of anguish
Warnings from yesterday beckoning to be heard.
In the brilliant moonlight, it glistens like a steely saber
cutting the thick, enemy-infested jungle.
In the light of day, it is only brick and mortar, and black marble
A reality to contemplate, a reason to question.
Rock Martinez is a 75-year old veteran who has been writing poems, short stories and novels for over fifty years.