Sunday, May 29, 2016


By Robert A. Hall

She’s fifty-five and growing plump,
Her hair is growing gray.
She lives alone in Baltimore,
She works most every day.
She owns a shop, sells mystery books,
Candles and funny hats.
She reads three hours every night,
And talks to both her cats.
But twice a year she takes the train,
The Union Station run,
She walks the streets and smiles at all
The pomp of Washington.
And when she has her courage up,
She walks up to the Mall.
She steps around the sleeping drunks—
She’s going to the Wall.
She touches names at random ’til
At last she comes to him.
She thinks of days when they were young,
Before the light grew dim.
Her fingers trace the letters out—
They will not see her weep!
She thinks of children never born,
And promises to keep.
She thinks of empty nights alone
Through all the empty years.
“I love you still,” she mummers low,
And fights to hold the tears.
She thinks about the folded flag,
She thinks about the cost,
She thinks about a love that lasts,
And all the years they lost.
She’s fifty-five and growing plump,
But she was young one day—
Before the politicians spoke
And threw his life away.

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