Glass Poetry Press

Volume One Issue Three

Irene Latham

The house on Baltimore Street was not built for battle

but that did not stop the dirt-faced Rebs from trampling its staircase and hammering rifle holes through the attic brick where boy after boy disappeared in a puff of smoke and that did not stop the whistle pop thump as fear flooded their eyes then receded into a bright red pool that seeped through the floorboards and trickled down the walls into the kitchen where Hettie hovered over the children — Look Mama, the youngest one said. Red ribbon! But it was not red ribbon and after three days of cannon fire when the children finally slept and Hettie peeked out the curtained window she could see nothing of Gettysburg save a mountain of human limbs rising from the front lawn and there was no one to comfort her, no place to put the story she was dying to tell, so she buried it in the rubble, patched the holes with mud and spit and sticks left it to glow phosphorescent a hundred and forty years later when scientists came with their powdered gloves to plunder the corners with beams of black light.