Friday, February 28, 2014

Reading Clausewitz

I was reading Clausewitz and Gibbon,
Tacitus and Caesar, Gallia est omnis
divisa in partes tres, and I heard
the legions, the sounds of marching
feet matched to beating hearts,
giving way to the barbarian riot
storming the gates, jihads across
desert sands, crusades and wars
of Christendom giving way
to an American Illiad.

My grandmother,
in reverent memory
of a father-in-law
she never knew
continued to fight
Yankees at every turn,
casting the occasional
suspicious eye at me,
wondering why
I spoke like one.

Photograph: Gettysburg Battlefield by Tim Emerich via Public Domain Pictures. Used with permission.

1 comment:

Maureen said...

I like how you turned the poem to focus on the personal in the second stanza.