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