He says that he found his 'black face' fading into the granite of the memorial wall.
This is also about the speaker identifying himself being similar to the granite wall in some ways, along with having a major difference, his fallacy as a human being.
In this sense, therefore, it can be concluded that it is only when individuals revisit items that remind them of their past experiences that they realise the truth regarding happenings in the society. Memories Brought about by the Visit to the Memorial The poem talks about the reminiscence of a difficult period of war in the poem.
Though he fights hard and is in constant conflict to leave these memories in his past, there are still some associated elements that unearth them. However, those who were not involved in the same occurrences appear not to share this same sad feeling.
He finds a familiar name on the memorial wall, and is reminded of how the person, Andrew Johnson, had died. In the black mirrora woman's trying to erase names: No, she's brushing a boy's hair.
The lines between past and present begin to blur, as his memories from the war begin to resurface. A white vet's image floatscloser to me, then his pale eyeslook through mine. His train of thought is broken because of the flapping wings of a bird, which he compares to a 'brushstroke'.Brushstrokes flash, a red bird's wings cutting across my stare. Soon, he drifts back to what he thinks are his days on the field, but soon realizes that he is remembering motherly affection.The speaker is very sure of his identity, but later on, he thinks of it as a facade over which a few questions are raised as soon as he reaches the memorial.Yusef Komunyakaa is an American poet who has served for the army as well.He worked for the military newspaper Military Cross during his stint with the armed forces in the Vietnam War.These, despite providing the anticipated sorrowful meaning, bring about the feeling of pleasure and fulfillment instead.In this case, Yusuf visits the memorial in the full awareness that sorrowful memories would be brought back in “He’s lost his right arm” to show a colleague’s injury.The experiences of the speaker during the war, which has been subjected to a critical analysis for a long time, and after the war, can be construed as the challenges that the poet himself had to overcome.In the poem, Komunyakaa attempts to reveal that while some things seem to fade away and disappear, they get connected to other things that give them a true and deeper meaning.He, however, ends up breaking down as he is a human, 'flesh'.The meaning of the 'clouded reflection' here is the events that the speaker had to face in the past, the memories of which are back to haunt him.