Army Mom’s Safe Haven


Early Morning at Gettysburg Field
Early Morning at Gettysburg Field


gettysburg, the first day:
our fees paid, the agenda in hand
we climbed the bus, invading from ohio
then down across the northern plain
into the battered town.
found our rooms o.k.,
attacked a prepaid supper,
and charged into the sleepy town.
caught a glimpse of the enemy,
statues—poised for battle.
but alas, it being late, the battle can wait:
for tomorrow.
gettysburg, the second day:
something cut our dreams away.
and the dust of sunlight tricks across the lines.
a million trees wait for spring...
silent, standing, soldiers statues, feign motion...
meaningless—till imagined battle lines form.
amid the blast, crash and roar, rips bodies,
lives falling away...
a hundred souvenir shops unlock.
in bus rows, stranded, we
roll along the battle roads as the guide talks
of how here the memorized battle blew.
but beneath the grass, numbered, other ears listen
to find some meaning, a hint of why.
off to lunch and a fine dessert,
and open time to wander shops.
the grass waits patiently for us.
the afternoon sun bends statues' shadows
cast to where deeper shadows lie—
a puzzled celebration that meanders
away the last of the day
to find some meaning, a hint of why.
gettysburg, the third day:
now my dreams are lifted by the dripping of blood.
a great thunder of cannon!!
a charge across a mile of open field...
a clash! and then back, from the line of
union statues, back to the frozen grey line statues.
i grow sick watching the grass. the thought
of horror! the agony of men's ends, met beneath the metal rots...
grass veils, grass hides, green has won!
now away, away, we retreat,
north, and west, back to another deadly week,
battles forgotten.

©Copyright by Ken Blackerston (Date Unknown)