Men in tired bodies shuffled their feet
along the dirt road down by the gate,
each a staggering shadow of the other.
They appeared, then disappeared
like clouds across Cold Mountain
in early March, like the intermittent
waves of wanting to see his face
in the next ghostly line of soldiers,
dragging their broken spirits back home.
One spoke with hopeful news from
Rock Island, he had been seen alive,
he was coming home, but not sure when.
From the front porch she watched
and waited as cool days began to warm,
even as the Dogwoods flowered in spring.
The soldiers shuffled through the season
into an early summer day in Carolina,
then he stepped out, down by the gate.
Page 45, The Thorny Truth and Their Civil War (The Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina)
--Karen Kay Knauss (A gift from Tom at the 9th NC PATCON )