there are teddy bears & high school rings
and old photographs that mamas bring
that daddies with their young boys, playing ball.
there’s combat boots that he used to wear,
when he was sent over there.
there’s 50, 000 names carved in the wall
there’s cigarettes, & there’s cans of beer
and notes that say i miss you dear
and children who don’t say anything at all.
there’s purple hearts and packs of gum
fatherless daughters and fatherless sons
and there’s 50, 000 names carved in the wall
they come from all across this land
in pickup trucks and mini vans
searching for a boy from long ago
they scan the wall and find his name
the teardrops fall like pouring rain
and silently they leave a gift and go
there’s stars of david and rosary beads
and crucifixion figurines
and flowers of all colors large and small
there’s a boy scout badge and a merit pin
little american flags waving in the wind
and there’s 50, 000 names carved in the wall.
there’s 50, 000 names carved in the wall…