by Dan Campion
“Reenactment of the Civil War is in decline,
and a crucial battlefield feels the loss..”—The New York Times (Midwest edition)
The feelings of the battlefield are mixed.
It used to feel the tramp of legions. Now,
Much thinner ranks advance with bright blades fixed.
At least they all survive to take a bow.
That other time, those three days in July,
So many boys and men stayed on the ground
It felt oppressive. Thankfully, they lie
Elsewhere today (all those, that is, they found).
It’s sad to feel enthusiasm wane
For reenacting bygone glory’s scenes
With realistic gasps and thrills of pain
And period hardtack and tin canteens.
The field is moved to ask, as feeling fractures,
Who will reenact the reenactors?