Charm Of The South

Emboldened by the summer breeze;

Sun beating on my weathered face,

Gravel crunching beneath my leather shod feet,

Each step draws me further back in time.

Aging plantations blossom from manicured fields,

Emblazoned with flora befitting their past grandeur.

The smell of honeysuckle and cyprus fills the air;

Wondrous is this coalition of scents to the senses.

Wrought iron gates entangled with succulent ivy

Announce the arrival of weary travelers.

Startled… I flush with uncontrollable tears

To realize this beauty is merely a facade.

Hiding ugliness in vibrant color and polished hedge,

Fountains and statues scream of their opulence.

This walk, I so leisurely stroll is etched in blood,

Hoed by chain and shackle;

We gawk in awe at these marvels of charm.

Reminiscing over Scarlett and Rhett;

Nothing but celluloid dreams of an imaginary south.

What of those treated as lesser crops,

Bought and sold like cotton and tobacco,

Building, maintaining, harvesting and subserving;

Flesh and blood herded as cattle…or something less!

Where is the romance…where is the southern charm?

Remember on whose backs this was built.

Remember whose backs were broken for a profit.

Remember on whose backs these estates were preserved.

Only then can you look through clear eyes and clear conscience

At what these really were…

Prisons.

 

~~ Dominic R. DiFrancesco ~~

 

Fields of Gettysburg

O’ obelisk, granite, grey, etched in sorrow,

Not so aged standing firm amongst the tall grasses;

Ne’er swaying though battered by wind and storm and history of war.

Your fields and gently rolling hills show no remnants of ball and shot,

Rivers of blood flowing across riverless plain.

The living perished here as surely as the dead those days,

Pitting brother against brother, for many, the reason elusive,

For honor, family, country, their fellow man, it matters not

As corpses lay bloodied, broken,less than whole.

Fortifications of man were little match for hell’s fury,

Breaking limbs and spirit with each fiery volley.

Friends, who shared hot coffee and conversation over warming fire…gone,

Gazing into the heavens through milky eyes,

Awash in dirt and blood, they are in pain no more.

Thousands upon thousands scattered haphazard,

Turning once green fields scarred and crimson.

Claims that those that lived and died still walk with us persist,

Destined to relive, in clips repeating, horrors of life in death.

In the quiet, amongst the trees rustle,

Smell of smoke and sulfur, sound of shot, fatal yells may still be heard.

Yet with daylights glow the grasses wave in silent salute,

Alone, but ne’er lonesome,

Watched o’er by the towering granite sentry,

Etched with the names and dreams

…Of the fallen.

.

~~ Dominic R. DiFrancesco ~~