Drums lie tilted, battered and still;
Grass fires gutter; none are left to kill;
Bitter smoke coils through leafless trees;
A stunned horse quivers on bloody knees.

A tin cup’s clank, a thump, a moan –
Battle’s dirge in dissonant tones
Drifts above those soon to be dead,
Blue coated, gray, innocent of dread.

Bloody fingers seek a hand to hold
And are touched instead by day’s last gold.
A torn boy’s dying, upraised hand
Marks Union’s price and freedom’s land.

 

For the sesquicentennial of the battle of Gettysburg

Robert Walton is a writer and poet living in King City

 

Featured Image: “Battle of Gettysburg”, L. Prang & Co. print of the painting “Hancock at Gettysbug” by Thure de Thulstrup, showing Pickett’s Charge. Restoration by Adam Cuerden. (Wikimedia Commons)

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