The road stretched long from hell to home,
pained by wheels of carrion dust
stirred thick in ghostly steps of war
while pulling canon’s hateful rust.
Lilac essence lined the trail
denied in spring the love to bloom,
yet heaved in whispered sacrament
between fresh graves, within death’s tomb.
No hint of living soul was seen,
nor stir of sound in mournings’ air,
yet held for hope this hell would pass
and providence lead him there –
There, to home where one heart stood
in skirt’s coquettish smiles.
There, where memory held the gate
to hearth beyond these hellish miles.
Time moved on with no such time,
each step a blur to steps in count,
till raised in climb and lifted hope
upon ascent of Acorn’s mount.
There peeked through trees the clearing
atop the Acorn’s rocky perch,
that drove to knees a tear’s relief!
Below! Home’s valley and quiet church!
On knees atop the final mount
through tears in shuddered gasps of breath,
his love, he knew, returned him
from the blood of battle and throes of death.
Now in morning’s sunlit dew
how sure this sacred moment charms,
that greets release for one, for two.
Toward home to fall in loving arms!
The road behind stretched long from hell,
from death and pain and friendships torn,
now silenced cannon’s whispers tell
the story of a union born.