Sunday, September 15, 2013

The walk home was long


The walk home was long
across a landscape devastated
destroyed afraid and he found
himself having to beg because
his money was considered
counterfeit worthless confederate.
The walk from Appomattox
to Brookhaven took eight months
through the winter, and arriving,
finally, he found the family
gone, others claiming the homestead,
land fallow, little growing. Told to go
west, he crossed the Mississippi
and the Red, to find his way
to east Texas, largely spared if
occupied. The family, operating
a general store in a nameless time,
farmers become shopkeepers,
and they didn’t know him.
He was 17.


Photograph by Karen Arnold via Public Domain Pictures. Used with permission.

2 comments:

Maureen said...

An undercurrent of sadness in this rather tender poem of war's consequences.

nance said...

This made me think that, no matter how or why we leave a place or people, we usually expect those places or people to remain the same while we are away.

And the people that stay, expect the person to return without change.

Odd, isn't it?