William Blake Beckett

(May 15,1995 / Denver, Colorado, United States of America)

The Hillside

On a hillside in the North
a drummer boy marches
parading through flying lead
wading through marshes

Thrown in a war
he knows not about
he drums solemly
now there is doubt

In the back of his mind
an itch in his head
he pauses to think
and is a shot in the leg

Lead rushes through veins
but still he drums
Battle Hymn of the Republic
he quietly hums

Twelve years old
his world fades to black
he knows war is Hell
and there's no turning back


In the hillside of the South
a mother trembles
she opens a letter
with Union symbols

'I regret to inform you'
is all she can read
she knows what has happened
and falls to her knees

Her son is concerned
as he hears her cry
he runs from his room
and begins to eye

A package at the door
rips it open with his thumb
his brother had no job
but instead a Union drum

In an act of rage
he runs out the door
carrying the drum
to Hell, and to war

He marches with the drum
blue coveralls donned
He searches for his dad
the Father/Son bond


On a hillside in the South
a father shoots his son
he walks to his kill
and sees what he has done

Sick of fighting
sick of himself
he runs from the war
from Hell, and from death

Sprinting through forest
and thick, heavy fog
he looks over his shoulder
and trips on a log

He tries to stand up
but his leg is broken
he crawls for his life
and prayers are spoken


In the hillside of the South
wife and husband reunite
she thanks God he's alive
and hides him overnight

at three in the morning
a soldier knocks at the door
the husband awakens
and remembers the war

The wife gets up
the soldier steps in
in a war against brothers
no one can win

Searching for the AWOL
he goes through the house
wife goes to husband
and holds close her spouse

The soldier demands she get back
but she won't let go
wife stays with husband
a gunshot echoes


On a hillside in the North
a story is written
about the Civil War
and a family's decisions

Submitted: Wednesday, April 04, 2012
Edited: Sunday, February 24, 2013

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