I’ll admit it. This post is an attempt to persuade you to buy at least one of my books, Private Hercules McGraw or The Journals of Lt. Kendall Everly. Both books were nominated for a Pushcart Prize, a national literary award.
(Obviously, I’m not the world’s greatest marketer.)
In this piece, Lt. Everly laments what he has become. He’s a pacifist, a school teacher, but the war has transformed him into an efficient killer. Here, he thinks about his children, his legacy, his terrible, terrible legacy.
August 1, 1861 – Entry III
Sudley Ford, they called it: a shallow swathe of water.
Its music was peace. It tempted me to sing with it,
to prop my back against a stout tree and dream
of the children. Their laughter: it’s foreign
to me, an old poem I once knew, but now the words – forgotten.
Perhaps Phillip might have stormed through the water,
a young bear after a fish. And Abigail – I imagine
she would spend hours collecting the dandelions that speckled
the grass between the oaks and ash trees,
and bunch them into a bouquet, only to set each bloom
on the water, watch them drift away – forever gone, forgotten.