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

territory of a raging thought


somewhere in a cave
forty thousand years ago
in Borneo… a man…

and why do I think a man
and not a woman in my mind
would lay his arm upon the wall
to spit paint’s outline defining
moment claiming hand spread
of  an existential touch

must be I think women
by and large are not
so graffiti prone …
would not even spray aerosol
to claim a fence or wall
to defend the territory
of a raging thought

would not cast life drawn large
across vast imagined space
to sprawl idea… as when
Michelangelo Buonarroti
scraped and frescoed God
upon a Sistine ceiling


Bonnie Marshall