For the 104th NY Volunteers, Saunderís Field,
529 engaged; 23 killed; 118 wounded; 114 missing.

I stood on your battlefields.
I heard the screams.
I smelled the smoke.
I felt the terror.
I looked out on

           the same blue sky as they did,
and the earthworks thrown
               up by a passing century
    were overrun as quickly as
                    the trenches down the road.
Deep in Virginia,

             on a peaceful
    farmerís field, where not even
a cow grazed, in this absolute
          middle of nowhere,
far from our manic streets and the
      noise that means
                  home, I found

           a memorial to my fellow
New Yorkers, a momentís
            heroism scribed in
        stone, in this place
                        where something
     once happened, and
                whispering, ďThank you,Ē
                      was routed by
                  of silence.

The Wilderness Battlefield, Va.
October 2000

All written material © Bill Schechter, 2016
Contact Bill Schechter