"Poetry is thoughts that breathe, and words that burn." ~Thomas Gray

"Poetry unites." ~Anon

"Truth is such a rare thing, it is delightful to tell it." ~Emily Dickinson

Written by George Bilgere
He lives in Ohio, USA
His website: George Bilgere

Originally published in his book, Big Bang.
Copyright © 1999 Copper Beech Press.

At the Vietnam Memorial

The last time I saw Paul Castle
it was printed in gold on the wall
above the showers in the boys’
locker room, next to the school
record for the mile. I don’t recall
his time, but the year was 1968
and I can look across the infield
of memory to see him on the track,
legs flashing, body bending slightly
beyond the pack of runners at his back.

He couldn’t spare a word for me,
two years younger, junior varsity,
and hardly worth the waste of breath.
He owned the hallways, a cool blonde
at his side, and aimed his interests
further down the line than we could guess.

Now, reading the name again,
I see us standing in the showers,
naked kids beneath his larger,
comprehensive force—the ones who trail
obscurely, in the wake of the swift,
like my shadow on this gleaming wall.

Posted with consent of the writer.


  1. Pam said...
    An amazing piece of poetry.
    WHY? said...
    The ending just blew me away!
    Wonderful writing, and so approachable.
    christopher said...
    Very well crafted.
    Deeply true.
    I have been to the wall and wept.
    K.Lawson Gilbert said...
    Boy, this one took my breath away.
    There is a weeping from age to age...our young men and women are dying still.
    Jannie Funster said...
    Wow! Just a gut-wrenching poem. My words fall short.

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