Morning’s Maul

Some nights…

Naomi Shihab Nye,“Hello”

Some mornings shy at the dawn,
some claw the night to death.
We slid into Friday
like a Sunday afternoon.

But soon it baked
our clay in blood.

Mid-seven,
Mr. Jones scattered
all the birds
with his caw,

while the dust danced
down sunlit slides
and the morning
the mauled
the dawn.

© rl busséll 2021 – All rights reserved.

Postscript:

July 3, 1863 “The town of Gettysburg looked as if some universal moving day had been interrupted by catastrophe.” But there was only one documented civilian death during the battle: Ginnie Wade (also widely known as Jennie), 20 years old, was hit by a stray bullet that passed through her kitchen in town while she was making bread.

Bruce Catton

July 1-3, 1863, one-hundred and fifty-eight years ago, the Battle of Gettysburg began and resulted in the largest casualties of the American Civil War.

The Battle of Gettysburg resulted in eight-thousand men killed in combat; these bodies, baking in the heat of summer, needed to be buried quickly. Over three-thousand horse carcasses were burned in a series of piles south of town; townsfolk became violently ill from the stench. Meanwhile, the town of Gettysburg, with its population of just two-thousand, found itself tasked with taking care of fourteen-thousand wounded Union troops and an additional eight-thousand Confederate prisoners.

According to lore, the Union soldier to fire the first shot of the battle of Gettysburg was Lt. Marcellus Jones.

Civil War era soldiers – photographer unknown circa 1865
L. Prang & Co. lithograph of the painting "Hancock at Gettysburg" by Thure de Thulstrup, showing Pickett's Charge. Restoration by Adam Cuerden.
L. Prang & Co. lithograph of the painting “Hancock at Gettysburg” by Thure de Thulstrup, showing Pickett’s Charge. Restoration by Adam Cuerden.