Wednesday, December 4, 2019

Blog- Uncut Hay

Those of you who have read Ball of String may wonder about why I included a poem of an event from the Civil War in a book of reflections from my life.

Sometimes we forget how closely connected we are to events that seem deep in the past. But it’s deceptive. Something that occurred 154 years ago is only one degree of separation from me as I write this.

My great grandmother lived with us when I was growing up. She had raised my mother and her three siblings, and in 1949, at the age of ninety-four, she often sat with me at age six and would tell me stories from her youth.

One of those stories was of when she was a young girl living in upstate Maine and watched the soldiers coming home from the Civil War. She talked about how they seemed like hollow shells, as they made the long walks back to their homes.

I have thought about her comments for years, and how it related to my own observations from the wars of my life. This is the basis for including “Uncut Fields” in my book.

The poem is about the aftermaths, the wreckage, that seems to follow every war, even the ones we think of as the “good wars”.

“Uncut Hay” is about the struggles of our survivors, the soldiers and the families, and all the potential from those who never returned…all the uncut hay that is never harvested in a world that is always the loser.

I hope you like the poem and understand why I have decided to include it in Ball of String.

May we find a way to avoid this kind of wreckage in the future.

Glenn K. Curie

1865-Fields of Uncut Hay

She stood barefoot in the dirt road
Watching a blue scarecrow approach.
The straw was missing from one arm,
And his bearded face framed eyes
That had seen too many fires,
Leaving them the color of ash.

Dust devils swirled around his legs,
Trying to swallow him, but their assaults
Fell beneath his plodding steps.
He passed the little girl without a word,
Disappearing slowly over the hill,
One of many ghosts, haunting the land.

She stomped her foot in the road,
Making the dust flee on the breeze.
Then she sat down by the white oak tree
And weaved a bracelet from the uncut hay.
Her father said he would meet her here,
When he came home from the war.

Copyright 2019 Glenn K. Currie