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Word Count: 488
Yusef Komunyakaas poem Facing It speaks of the disturbed memories of a veteran In the poem the narrator a black Vietnam War veteran is visiting the Vietnam Veterans Memorial wall in Washington DC The speaker talks of how he feels staring at the memorial wall and also of how his memories still stay with him He struggles at the memorial to keep his promise not to cry but now facing the wall he is having trouble not to shed tears This shows the tremendous impact that war has on people and what many have to face from their past memories As the man looks at the polished black granite wall he notices and points out certain properties and characteristics of the wall such as His clouded reflection eyes him like a bird of prey the profile of night slanted against morning 6-8 This is indeed a comparison of the reflection in the wall to the outside itself He talks of being inside the Vietnam Veterans Memorial again depending on the light to make a difference 10-13 While he is facing memorial wall he becomes helplessly lost in its reflection The wall has 58022 names which is not a rounded but a specific number to symbolize that each and every one of the veterans is important He goes through the names and comes across Andrew Johnson He remembers this name and it may have been someone close to him or just an acquaintance during the war He recalls the booby traps white flash 18 as he finds Johnsons name This shows how Andrew Johnson died and that the narrator had certainly witnessed the incident The image of engraved names looking as if to appear on the reflection of people only to
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