Resurrection in a Battlefield below Kennesaw Mountain
What moves in grass I love—
The dead will not lie still…
If you’ve wandered here, waited, kept watch,
you’ve seen them: They are all that is green, shooting
forth from ground—man-of-the-earth, goldenrod, yarrow.
They are roots and fibers of roots. They are trees—
beech, oak, poplar, cedar, pine, all of them, each
pressed into bark, pitch, branch, and leaf.
They are that which propagates, springs,
and that which consumes springing—
loam, thistle, butterfly, flycatcher—
their blood forming, feeding, becoming
bodies again. They are alive and well, the dead
whose life streams veins of grass, this grass
shadowed by ochre, rust, gold-graced limbs
reaching from Kennesaw’s slopes—this grass
my fingers sift for grasshoppers, my son wobbling
behind me, his hands parting grass, grass
at the forest edge hiding my wife, battlefield
grass her seat for breastfeeding our daughter.
To a gray-green blade, a grasshopper clings;
I catch it, kneel down, open cupped
palms before my son, and the dead
flies from flesh on blood red wings.