Facing It

I said I wouldn’t
dammit: No tears.
I’m stone. I’m flesh.
My clouded reflection eyes me
like a bird of prey, the profile of night
slanted against morning. I turn
this way—the stone lets me go.
I turn that way—I’m inside
the Vietnam Veterans Memorial
again, depending on the light
to make a difference.

-Yusef Komunyakaa

My father died 10 years ago this day (the day before my 25th birthday). He was a veteran of the U.S. Navy. We had a complicated relationship, but I honor him and his service to this country. I wouldn’t exist, otherwise.

image: Reflection II by Anton Gormley



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