Clover Leaf

With a finger pressed
in chiseled white letters,
Delphi rubs silence
from the stones lining Arlington,
washes once bellicose soldiers
with an old prayer recited,
hears the long roll of drums.
Her bare feet press the echo
of church bells into the ground
beyond the bent green grass
grown about the singular flower
of the old Second Corp.


Copyright © 2020 Kenneth P. Gurney

postscript

This is another poem from my past as I regroup from a week of spare creativity. Tomorrow will have a new poem, recent poem.

Up From The Tidewater

I walk the sawgrass
adjacent to rounded
civil war earthworks
where a shore battery
endured a long bombardment
from the Union fleet
and with each slow step I take
I let my toes feel the soft ground
as if they can detect
shell casings embedded
in the sandy soil
and whether that ordnance
is expended
or remains live
after a century and a half.


copyright © 2020 Kenneth P. Gurney

Keepsake

The jacket in the attic, the cedar chest,
on top of dilapidated shoes
displays a hole with blood stains
that match up with
a once white, weather stained shirt.

Butternut—a gray dye faded from the sun
over the many marched miles.
No kepi with sky blue stripe.
Great grandfather’s unit
wore straw hats that summer, not pressed felt.

No old photo for frame or locket.
They were much too poor.
The rich man’s tool in war
with no slaves to lose.
Forty acres of bottom land to support seven.


copyright © 2020 Kenneth P. Gurney