Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Poem for Wednesday and Fredericksburg Battlefield

Change in the Grove of Chickadees
By Lesle Lewis

Happy for nothing, we could be with no dinner to cook.
Absence is gigantic in our heads and houses.
We're old and it's bold to say so standing at the kitchen counter with the flashing red things.
The clock says midnight and we say yes.
When we go out, time always pays.
We spike our heads with copper ions and picnic with the breast explorers.
We're riding the earth.
Non-motion is impossible.


Another by Lewis, whose Small Boat won the Iowa Poetry Prize.

I had to get Daniel up early -- "early" for him meaning before 10 a.m. -- to get his ex-wisdom teeth checked. The oral surgeon put some more clove oil on the extraction sites to prevent dry socket, ordered him to rinse more with salt water, and otherwise said he looked fine, which was a relief to everyone. Meanwhile my father picked up Adam to play tennis with him, and when they were finished, he took us all out to lunch at the pancake house, which was delightful.

In the afternoon, Adam worked on his health homework, I worked on an article, and Daniel worked on...well, probably Minecraft. I took a walk in the woods but it wasn't quite cool enough even under the trees to be really enjoyable, though the chipmunks didn't seem to mind. Paul decided to make meatballs for dinner, then those of us interested enough to care watched Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, in which Robert Pattinson is adorably young, David Tennant is adorably evil, and Draco Malfoy is more adorable as a ferret than a boy.

A house still shows its bullet holes in Fredericksburg...

... near the Sunken Road where thousands of Union soldiers died below Marye's Heights.

Now the park gives presentations about the battle near the ruins of houses that stood there at the time.

A statue of Richard Kirkland, the "Angel of Marye's Heights," a Confederate soldier who brought water to wounded Union soldiers during the battle.

Now the onetime battlefield has bluebirds...

...and this squirrel who'd stolen an unripe tomato from a nearby garden and was eating it under a tree.

After the battle, soldiers left behind items like playing cards...

...while relief organizations collected valuables to sell to raise money.

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