One Life Remembered


A gentle breeze brings a sense of hope

As a young schoolgirl stops and breathes

In the scent of trees, water, and wind

Which permeate the field on which she marches

That field on the grounds of Gettysburg

While she hums an old, familiar tune.


The breeze carries a lonesome tune

That once filled young soldier’s hearts with hope

As they awaited battle beneath the trees of Gettysburg

The world stopped, and the field breathes

A steady pace as on this ground an army marches

Fearlessly on, heedless of gun-smoke carried by the wind.


A voice hails through the breeze –Wait! – soft as the wind

Causing her to pause and listen closer to the tune

That fills her heart with a beat that marches

And carries with it a brave, reckless hope

As that voice, so sad, once more breathes

Life into the history of Gettysburg.


A soldier steps out in front of her in Gettysburg

As her hair is ruffled, his untouched by the wind.

She watches warily as he slowly breathes

In and raises a pipe to his lips, a gentle tune

Flowing, rich with life and hope

Past and Present meeting, as around them time marches.


He plays the past, as his squadron marches

Over the red-clay fields of Gettysburg

Each boy, not one eighteen, carries hope

Of peace and freedom, a flag held high in the wind

While every boy sings a valiant tune

Even as his last breath he breathes.


–So ended my time. – The young man breathes

As away down the time-worn path he marches

Kissing her hand, leaving her with a blush and a tune

To remind her of the brave young souls lost at Gettysburg

Whose lives are eternally written in the gentle wind

In remembrance of freedom, life, and hope.


Filled with a wild hope, she ran to join the parade as the past still breathes

The wind tousling her hair as, surrounding her, a grey and blue long-lost battalion marches

To salute a proud and tattered flag in Gettysburg, as a brave young soldier pipes a familiar tune.


Gypsy Dancer

This Poem, One Life Remembered, is a Sestina, a form of poetry which uses only six words in a strict pattern to end each line of the first six verses. The final verse is a Triplet which uses all six words, also in a set pattern. Personally, I love the difficulty of writing Sestinas; and the way that they unfold is like a mystery which solves itself.

One Life Remembered is written for and dedicated to all of the brave men and women who have given their lives in service of their country and the ideals it stands for.

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