the quiet harbor ushered in
a ship from abroad
immigrants from afar
search for a life of hope
freedom’s soil under foot
conscripted by blue or grey
thrust into uniform
depending upon harbor of entry
North or South
rite of passage to citizenship
“Go, join the kill”
from famine on home soil
to war on freedom’s soil
hungry souls left behind
the new unknown
violence of another kind
from good and evil, history comes
the immigrant says
“My own days without end?”
“Or will the days end
with my last breath
in another muddy field?”
forgotten souls
families left behind not knowing
ghosts roam the bloody battlefields
weave a slow, sad pattern of death

birdsongs in the trees
echo whispers of those who went before

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