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Author Name: FreeGrace 4 Comments
Date Added: February 18, 2011 19:02:53 Average Score: (Needs 2)
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Category: Historical Add To Favorites | Text Only
The Soldier
Tired from a long drive to Nashville,
I sat up writing and nodding;
Thinking of our amazing history,
Knowing it all was for real.
In a drizzly, rainy kinda eve
I saw the outline of the mountains.
The rain made them look like shadows
Lurking just beyond the graves.
A Civil War cemetery lies just across the road,
Full of names and numbers of fallen fighting men.
Its nice enough for a grave yard.
Always nicely mowed.
But last night I saw odd lighting;
in the rain, a campfire burned.
It was right there in the tree line.
For that reason I am writing.
I stepped up to my window,
Faintly saw a man kneel down.
He seemed to me to be hiding;
He moved gingerly and slow.
I saw him stir the ashes,
Toss a blanket 'round for warmth.
He was under that tree with big branches
Pulling food from his poke of stashes.
I saw him jump, draw a gun and aim.
Oh, God! What was going on?
I heard what sounded like thunder.
On his face was surely pain.
On the ground the man was lying.
Not a movement from him now.
The fire was growing dimmer.
I felt sure the man was dying.
I shudderd to think of what I saw.
How could this be real? I laughed.
I rolled over and took a real deep breath,
Deep under the covers I crawled.
Now, the sun has broken through,
Just barely enough to see.
I walk over to the cemetery.
I hardly believe this is true.
Here is a burned out campfire.
There is a burned blanket too.
Footprints are nowhere around,
But there's twisted torn down briar.
Then I step back to survey the land.
On a tombstone close by I read,
"Here lies a brave and noble lad
Killed at night by an unknown hand."
Author's Notes:
I live in the amazing state of Tennessee.  It is full of historical places and takes me back.  It is a wonderful feeling. 
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Comment By: FreeRobert on February 19, 2011 03:35:24 AM Report
W ay back in the early eighities of the last century I was a Civil War re-enactor What you said about going "back" is the truth in the midst of a mock battleI was hit in the leg by a dirt clod and for what seemed to be a long moment I lay on the ground with my leg torn off just below the knee---- scary you bet it was scary---I haven't heard this story before but have heard many similar Enjoyed the read thanks for sharing.
Comment By: Freee. Gene Myers on February 18, 2011 09:14:09 PM Report
When my wife and I first moved to Virginia we rented an old farm house out in the middle of some corn fields; Wakefield, Virginia about 65 miles east of Richmond.   We used to hear drums at night and a few mornings I had the feeling that an army was about to come out of the trees.  I felt like I could see line upon line of soldiers coming out of the fog lined trees.  Weird that the feeling was so real.

Your poem took me back to that house and the open fields



Comment By: FreeJohn Bates on February 18, 2011 08:00:10 PM Report
Truly good... and war was simple then... not that it is at all good.  I really like this.  Muy bien echo.
Comment By: PremiumMary Lou Allen on February 18, 2011 07:30:02 PM Report
Oh, my, what a powerful story. I think I'd crawl deep under cover too. This has that "Civil War" feeling, Grace. Good job, kiddo. Glad to see you posting. And I'm very glad to note that you haven't abandoned your talent during your Sabbatical. We'll be expecting more from you. ML


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