Amelia FrenchMay 28, 2010

We tramp down the sidewalk
tired beyond belief
memorial after memorial.

The heat beats down
delicate cherry trees
provide no shade.
My respect decreases
while tired feelings grow.
At the sight of the Vietnam Memorial
I sigh – just another place
to remember people
I never knew.

Your grandfather served in this war
my mother reminds me
He didn’t die – he won’t be up there.
Why should I care?

I spot the names
Rows and rows of names
Do I know anyone else
who gave his life
to fight for our country?

Let’s see if we know anyone
Dad suggests
with a mission in mind.
I head to the books
worn from the weather
and millions of hands
I flip and search
Jones? French?
The names of my family
lost souls.
Alas, no one
but that doesn’t matter
now I understand.

Amelia French is a soon-to-be ninth grader at Yarmouth High School in Maine. She loves to play piano and thinks that life is too short to wear boring socks. Her favorite part of poetry is the random inspiration that creeps into every poet’s mind at the most inconvenient times.