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One Too Many Mornings by Kyle Hemmings

There was a girl
a girl in white bonnet
picking chrysanthemums or lilies
at the first crack of morning,
you knew her.
There was the mother
the mother running,
holding her calico dress
calling out
"Melissa!"
as the girl's arms flung up and back.
There were the lines of boys, barely men
in blue and gray, veterans
of Manassas or Harpers Ferry
who now leaned against their muskets
and called a truce.
It grew so quiet
you'd think a day for catching trout
and then I carried the girl
this girl
past the mother and the sod house
under the orange-glazed sky
through the dew and crisp grass
until I buried her by the creek
that puled its silent prayer
the clear cool brook
that trickled trickled trickled.

2008


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