Manassas
 
Now we can take the tour,
guided by recordings,
or stroll the trails
and read the markers--
maybe even imagine you,
your men,
become the rocks
on this hilly plain
where, one hundred years ago,
you became a Stone Wall . . .
And we can suffer June heat,
pause to wipe our foreheads
while something
in our sluggish blood recalls
the grimness of your stance,
the almost furious trance
your men had fallen into--
and we can lean forward
into our ancestors . . .
But then a light wind
soughs over the hazy field
pushing us softly
back into ourselves:
your cause is lost,
not to you
but to us . . .
For now the Stone Wall
is broken down,
and we,
your faithless descendents,
falter through these
memorial grounds,
wandering mutely
in broken rings
around these rocks
which once were men.
 

 

 

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