In Memoriam: for the Unknown Soldiers at Red Bank Battlefield
is a broad river expanse
where time ripples and bends
under a laden, leaded sky
the morning moon, her song a sigh
floats on heron’s wings to flutter
by the gulls and geese,
who wonder what and why.
Now coal-black crows with peacock flair
and gangster elan strut across the grass,
summer is almost past they call–
but not quite yet whispers the butterfly,
the rabbits hop and turkeys trot
and deer with smooth grace retrace
past seasons. The river flows on,
an unanswered question, a memory, a lullaby
for unsettled spirits amidst brittle relics
where they once cried and died,
under an autumn sky,
they drift above ground settling bone-full and dry.
I took a poem I had written last August and started revising it. It then demanded that I turn it into a poem to honor the remains of the Hessian soldiers found this summer at Red Bank Battlefield where I walk almost every day. The official announcement was made this past Tuesday.
I like that in the various reports I’ve read that historian Jennifer Janofsky and archeologist Wade Catts have emphasized not only that this is an exciting and unexpected discovery, but that it also emphasizes the brutality of war. They hope to be able to identify some of the soldiers from their remains, and they will be reburied. So, I have more River Ghosts.
I’m sharing this with dVerse Open Link Night.