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Civil War


On the backside of my family’s cattle ranch, local history claimed a

A minor skirmish occurred there during the latter days of The Civil War.


On a tiny patch of land on a sloping green pasture, over-run now by red oak,

Sassafras, and Elderberry vines we discovered a little graveyard for one.


His final plot was as impenetrable as the schism that split our haunted land. We never

Jarred his lasting sleep. The peace he had found was from the ground around him.


No loving hands had tucked him into his gravelly bed. The name Jim was

Gouged roughly by bayonet point in a sandstone lying at his head


Had he been shot by a neighbor who didn’t recognize him until he lay dying,         

By someone who cared enough to dig a hole in the ground for him?


This war was not about some foreign country with whom we fought, it was

next-door neighbors hating enough to kill over issues that reverberate still.

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