I’ve walked the fields of stones,
where ‘neath the green of summer’s trees
lay memories of lives in bones –
Through Iowa and Illinois,
through Kentucky’s north and south,
through battlefields in Tennessee
where silence claimed my mouth!
I searched for family’s heritage,
starting with my own,
then deep into the history
of those I’d never known.
Some at rest in displaced fields
quite distant from the ones they loved,
yet sided by side their markers lain,
together here, and still above.
I wondered what regrets they kept
that left them in strangers’ fields,
I blessed and prayed they are at peace,
and that their loneliness has healed.
In some I felt life’s tragedies
might have been too much to bear,
of children lost in early days
as witnessed by the markers there.
Such sorrow overwhelmed me,
such sadness did I feel,
yet words of reassurance came
and prayers that their hearts had healed.
I walked the battlefields, where fallen,
their final breaths had come.
I cried that there was no return
to sights of youth and loving home.
I searched the markers tirelessly
and sought to feel their souls,
imagined I had found the place
where brothers lay when paid their toll.
I stood upon each distant hill
and grasped to feel their echoed hearts.
I sat in summer’s greenest grass
and talked of life until the starts
of sorrow left,
and then with heavy sigh and breath
I cast my blessings true…
… for I am but your distant son,
grandchild, cousin, kin –
and all that is the best in me
was granted by the best in you!
God bless you all –