Gaining Ground at Gettysburg


I go, glass-footed,

among the battlefield grass.


Groping, by way of leaf and star,

far from the car


in which my kids sleep, unaware.

My husband lets me go,


pacing his own distractions

down the park’s asphalt.


His love is not about me.


So, tender-footed, I take a trampled way,

where deer must have lain,


where I can wade ragweed;

my imaginary hat speared like Armistead’s


toward a wall

I cannot trespass.


But I’m off, I miss it, and I return,

a little disenchanted.


The waiting car is gone.

It’s a long story short.


So on the steps of the Pennsylvania Memorial, I wander

like Cinderella, after the lost ball.


The air runs hot and cold, quickening the minutes.

Cars move across the Emmitsburg Road.


I move among the monuments,

and find I am among the missing.


“I’ve lost my wife,”

he tells the park ranger, eventually.


In a red-lighted pickup I’m returned,

riding shotgun in the front seat.

Copyright © 1999-2017 Juked