Sunday, May 20, 2007

Road to glory

Civil War veterans monument
Hillsdale, Columbia County, N.Y.

Damn kids went off too proudly and too eagerly
to fight in a war they thought
would be fought and done in a month
Full of piss and vinegar
itching to get in the fray
poor bastards probably died
of measles or dysentery
long before they could fire a shot
in anger or fear
Sure, put up a monument
write odes to their bravery and courage
and the nobility of their cause
but how do you capture in bronze and stone
a dying boy scared shitless
crying for his mother


Gregor said...

Great poem.

Gregor said...

Columbia County, NY ? Right in my neck of the woods, did you take the photo?

Michael said...

Hey Gregor,

Thanks very much for your kind words. Yes, I took the photo yesterday on the way home from my niece's college graduation. She went to school just over the border in Massachusetts. But her mother, my sister, lives in Columbia County.

east village idiot said...

What a great poem. How sad and how true.

Michael said...

Thanks, EVI.

Tom said...

O the lives we waste so easily.

At the end of the PBS Lehrer News Hour they show pictures of soldiers who have been killed as their pictures become available. Each picture is shown for five seconds or so in silence.

I always watch this with awe and sadness. I would never miss it. I don't watch having any particular political thoughts. It is just that these recently-rendered-dead soldiers seem so especially real to me.

Michael said...

We never learn. So many lives, so many dreams lost.