Monday, August 26, 2013


 

Gettysburg

 

When you visit the battlefields at Gettysburg, you can hear them speak to you.

 The spirits still occupy this place. After the battles and the heavy rain, came the heat and the dust and the "reaping" of the fields: 8,000 dead soldiers, over 40,000 total casualties, 3,000 plus dead animals (mostly mules and horses). But no amount of physical restoration could change the fact that a city of lost souls was indelibly etched into the earth.
 
The world changed in those days after the conflict, and the drum beats that led away from the battlefields are leading us still.

The spirits, however, stayed. They are there to tell us what they gave to help our country begin to find itself. Blue and gray, brothers all, lay in carnage so great, that our country finally began to seek a peace with itself.

If you stand in the fields and listen to the whispers in the gentle breeze, you can hear their story.
 
I wrote the poem Gettysburg (In the Cat's Eye, 2009) in an effort to try to capture those whispers and the quiet "tat-tat" of the drums that were slowly leading us in the long journey to the present. 

Glenn K. Currie

Gettysburg


Distant drum beats

Floated in the heat.

Tat-tat, tat-tat, tat-tat,

 Softly fell

Like tear drops,

Among the lost souls

Adrift in this vale

Of silent hearts.

 

Trampled grass

Gathered itself,

And slowly rose

From the earth.

Blood-stained and burned,

Kneeling in dazed confusion,

It quietly cradled

The blues and grays.

 

 

Reapers moved hesitantly,

Picking the harvest.

Uneasy in the presence

Of the spirits

Rising to the drumbeats call.

Tat-tat, tat-tat, tat-tat,

Whispered the gentle breeze,

As it gathered up the dust.