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David Walsh


Emblems of the Civil War by Alexander Pope

Wheat rolls away from the forest and flows across the valley. It’s the end of the season, and the chaff weighs heavy on the stem, ready to be cut and trampled. Pieces of dry grain fly off in the wind. Huge rocks are piled into a den, their edges leaning on each other to create granite teeter-totters. Kids clamber over boulders and through crevices, wearing their souvenir gray and blue felt caps. They search for the shadow of snipers while parents scan their battlefield guide to identify which hill has the higher view. The crack of a distant baseball echoes off monuments. Each spire is etched with military marks in roman numerals, followed by names of generals, captains, and farmers who walked miles to meet their enemy. A fire whistle follows smoke. Peaches bruise, bloat and rot where they fall.

death fills a valley
corpses appear in the rain
history cleanses


About the writer:
DAVID WALSH grew up in rural upstate New York and spent his career working for local and state government. His interests include history, the impact of technology on society, and baseball. He was greatly influenced by poetry workshops taken at the Chautauqua Institution. His poetry has appeared in Spitball, NINE, museum of americana, Manhattanville Review, Haibun Today, Adirondack Review, From Whispers to Roars, and The Twinbill. David and his wife, Pam, live in the capital region of New York.

Image: Emblems of the Civil War by Alexander Pope (1849-1924). Oil on canvas. 54 3/16 x 51 1/8 inches. 1888. Public domain.

OJAL Art Incorporated, publishing since 2017 as OPEN: Journal of Arts & Letters (O:JA&L) and its imprint Buttonhook Press, is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit corporation supporting writers and artists worldwide.

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