Gettysburg in retrospect


Break camp in early morning dew,

assemble at bike shop before rental battles begin,

move out equipped with maps, helmets and backpacks.


Family expedition to historic war zone in July,

amid maturing wheatfields and quiet peach orchards.


Pedal single-file,  pause to read marker,

muster a smile for the photograph and

retreat to the solemn shade for a picnic lunch.


Today, brothers volley friendly jibes where

yesterday, brothers exchanged whizzing bullets.


Sweat to the crest of Little Round Top,

dare to peer down a cannon’s dark throat,

weigh the lead ball in your hand and shudder.


Monuments mask the magnitude

of the horrors that happened here.



14 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Brian
    Nov 11, 2016 @ 13:09:15

    Really good mixing the wonder and horror of the battlefield.


  2. Björn Rudberg (brudberg)
    Nov 07, 2013 @ 07:14:36

    Amazing what a contrast between a family trip on bikes and the horrors of the ground


  3. brian miller
    Nov 06, 2013 @ 02:10:52

    monuments mask the maginitude of horror….so true….it sterilizes it a bit…i used to walk gettysburg often…matter of fact, my son got his head caught in the wheel of that cannon…or one that looks a lot like it…smiles.


  4. Katie (@PunkRockPoet84)
    Nov 06, 2013 @ 01:11:33

    Very, very nice. Love the visuals in this poem. 🙂


  5. Morgan
    Nov 06, 2013 @ 00:02:35

    Very Nice. I’ve been to Gettysburg several time ( once even on a ghost hunt) and I am always saddened by the feeling that lingers there. Lovely poem!


  6. annotating60
    Nov 05, 2013 @ 22:36:58

    I used to work Park Watch many years ago and worked the 12-4 AM shift. It was always and invigorating experience. It is the most hallowed ground I know. >KB


  7. lupitatucker
    Nov 05, 2013 @ 22:19:44

    I have been to Gettysburg only once, I was very young. Now my whole family (children are major history buffs) are hoping we will go soon. My dad went to Gettysburg College. I like the juxtaposition of modern against the relics of the old, especially the first stanza – really clever!


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