After War at Plain Run Creek

Appamattox War

At Plain Run Creek
mourning doves flutter
through drenched hemlock branches,
disturbing cones that drop to rest
against shrapnel shells,

while armored snapping turtles
yawn red for blue-gray minnows
that writhe through yellow bursts of
river bisterwort and bittercress.

Lizards camouflaged to gray
on split rail fencing
prime for advance…retreat,
as alarmed by owl hoots,
they dart for cover under
abandoned rifles stacked
like cord wood along
Richmond-Lynchburg Road.

So…war settles
to nature’s rhythm
in a red of sunset,
while rain cuts through
banks and hillsides
of the Appomattox River
blue gray roiling.

Bonnie Marshall

Photography by Matthew Brady

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