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Red Lipstick & Green Ink [userpic]

It wasn't called "Longest Parade"...

May 29th, 2005 (08:34 pm)
current song: Milk And Honey

What else, have I forgotten.

*sigh*

Artist: 10,000 Maniacs
Album: Blind Mans Zoo
Title: The Big Parade



Detroit to D.C.
night train, Capitol, parts East.
Lone young man takes
a
seat.

And by the rhythm of the rails, reading all his mother's mail
from a
city boy in a jungle town
postmarked Saigon.

He'll go live his
mother's
dream,
join the slowest parade he'll ever see.

Her weight of sorrows
carried long and carried far.

"Take these, Tommy, to The Wall."

Metro line to the Mall site
with a tour of Japanese.

He's wandering
and
lost
until a vet in worn fatigues
takes him down to where they belong.

Near
a soldier,
an ex-Marine
with a tattooed dagger and eagle trembling,

he
bites
his lip
beside a widow breaking down.

She takes her Purple Heart,
makes
a
fist,
strikes The Wall.

All come to live a dream,
to join the slowest
parade
they'll ever see.

Their weight of sorrows carried long
and carried
far,

taken to The Wall.

It's 40 paces
to the year
that he was slain.

His hand's slipping down
The Wall

for it's slick with rain.

How would life have ever been the same
if this wall
had carved in it one less name?

But for Christ's sake, he's been
dead
over 20 years.

He leaves the letters asking, "Who caused my mother's
tears,

was it Washington or the Viet Cong?"

Slow deliberate steps are
involved.

He takes them away from the black granite wall
toward the other
monuments
so white and clean.

O, Potomac, what you've seen.

Abraham had his war too, but an honest
war.

Or so it's taught in school.