Gettysburgh Postcard 
by Jennifer Rose 

  Dusk cloaks the sky in Rebel gray—a Union spy 
  whose blue day will prevail though 50,000 die 
  here. Their dogwood ghosts surrender every spring. 
  Fog scouts the woods in moccasins 
  then blows away like cannon smoke—that easily 
  they died. How odd that we can ride here now 
  and worship at weird obelisks the future 
  has installed to say goodbye. The fields are 
  their own monument: no souvenir but silence— 
  our taste of what the soldiers got on these same lawns. 
  The trees wear mossy uniforms 
  to camouflage their shame and each one takes the name
  of one who died. These famous acres, Lincoln said, 
  made heroes of the dead and more blood would be shed 
  to prove his claim. Did liberty inspire them? 
  I couldn’t say. I think they never would have come 
  knowing what we know today— 
  how grim the outcome that July 
  and Appomatox years away.
   (First appeared in Verse
   Copyright © 1990 by Jennifer Rose. All rights reserved.) 


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