- confederate cemetery
white markers lined the confederate graveyard
~a cemetery of sorts~
where the roots of death burrowed deeper than stubborn magnolias
and the voices of brave soldiers were long since silenced
though the wind still carried the screams, last words,
prayers and cursing like a hallelujah chorus on horseback.
young men, mostly still and forever nameless,
whose bodies had fallen to the ground
were then planted into it, like a seed, dormant, infertile and wasted.
the cemetery in one night swallowed an army
larger than the town filled with bellwort and trout lily
as two little girls grew up more quickly than their years begged of them.
nursing men, still boys, whose arms and legs
were buried well ahead of their time,
placing them in bags simply marked ‘miscellaneous’.
wooden markers set aside one boy from the next
but winter came and firewood was needed
and markers were white like the winter snow,
and white markers survived the winter
no better than dead soldiers
and white markers never specified heaven or hell.
*Note: I took the photo at the Sandusky Confederate Cemetery in Ohio and the poem
is written about the Battle of Franklin on November 30, 1864 in Franklin, Tennessee.
© 2012, tolbert. All rights reserved.