Saturday, September 22, 2012

a good death

a new recognition
how we lived death
in north and south..
in our self inflicted
all consuming war..
death now found
in history's foreground..

his gettysburg words
conceived and dedicated..
equality and death
each soldier remembered
their sacrifice owned..
his words our grounding
death's equality lives..

patterns have repeated
more wars
fires and floods
those september screams..
careful accounting
from chaos springs..
and we know now
each must be named..

we have strewn flowers
many memorial days..
his address recalled
we repeat
none died in vain..
a fearful delight
each life seen equal
by their blood
and their light..

back then
each soldier's family
fervently wished
in their deepest despair
for their loved ones
a good death..
these all now seem
to us good
very good for all time...
Poem is based on recent PBS American Experience program,
Death in the Civil War, and a book, Republic of Suffering by
Drew Gilpin Faust...

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