Saturday, June 27, 2009

I Will Be Home

Soldier: Heart-carved tree trunk, Yankee bayonet,
A sweetheart left behind.

Girl: Far from the hills of the sea-swaled Carolinas,
that's where my true love lies.

Soldier: Look for me when the sun-bright swallow
sings upon the birch bough high.

Girl: But you are in the ground,
with the wolves and the weevils all a-chew on your bones so dry.


But when the sun breaks
to no more bullets in Battle Creek
then will you make a grave?
For I will be home then...


Girl: When I was a girl, how the hills of Oconee made a seam to hem me in.

Soldier: There at the fair, when our eyes caught, careless, I got my heart right pierced by a pin.

Soldier: And oh, did you see all the dead of Manassas, all the bellies, and the bones and the bile?

Girl: No, I lingered here with the blankets barren, and my own belly big with child.


But when the sun breaks
to no more bullets in Battle Creek
then will you make a grave?
For I will be home then...


Stems and bones and stone walls too
Could keep me from you
Skein of skin is all too few
To keep me from you

But oh, my love, though our bodies may be parted
Though our skin may not touch skin
Look for me with the sun-bright sparrow
I will come on the breath of the wind!

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M is for Margaret, who was swept out to sea...