Monday, October 12, 2009

Ekphrastic Poem (Vietnam War Memorial) -Brian Boyle

"Reflection on the Vietnam War Memorial"
Jeffrey Harrison (1987)

Here is, the back porch of the dead.
You can see them milling around in there,
screened in by their own names,
looking at us in the same
vague and serious way we look at them.

An underground house, a roof of grass --
one version of the underworld. It's all
we know of death, a world
like our own (but darker, blurred).
inhabited by beings like ourselves.

The location of the name you're looking for
can be looked up in a book whose resemblance
to a phone book seems to claim
some contact can be made
through the simple act of finding a name.

As we touch the name the stone absorbs our grief.
It takes us in -- we see ourselves inside it.
And yet we feel it as a wall
and realize the dead are all
just names now, the separation final.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.