| 13 Feb 2012 | 03:46

It’s like a season passed in the blink

of an afternoon. This morning I smiled at black-eyed-susies

reaching above the grass and clover.

Bees hummed from bloom to bloom

like politicians knocking on doors,

mustering votes. Breeze carried scents

of earth and honey – sweetest spring day

that ever filled my lungs. Made me wanna

touch something soft, something special –

maybe the hand of a Charleston beauty.

But after a day of trading spit and smoke

with a regiment of Billies, this pretty spot

done shed all its pretty. Blood has a queer smell,

like a bog choked with sour fish,

but it don’t mud a patch of ground

like water does. Blood turns dirt

into syrup – walk in it too long

and you get all gummed up. And the dead are leaking blood all about.

From here it looks like a herd of fellas

decided to nap, but they ain’t waking up

no time soon. You can see their last thought

carved on each of their faces.

It’s never fear or anger. Mostly it seems like sorrow to me,

like they know they just lost memory

and hope all at once. Don’t seem like spring no more.

What season is it? It’s a season for breathing –

at least while you still can. S. Thomas Summers, Vernon

Scott Summers’ book, “Private Hercules McGraw: Poems of the American Civil War,” was recently released by Anaphora Literary press.