Lost In Time

Image by liggraphy from Pixabay

The Blue RIdge, hazy in the distance

Walls off the valley, bulwark against the outside

Cows stand like ancient sentinels

Waiting for history to happen again

Old schools float like islands in an ancient sea

Grounds still littered with grape and canister

They set their own rythyms

Cadences of a bygone era, steadfast

Bugles sing their songs day and night

Up and down the valley floor

Constant as the sun and moon

They are singing for ghosts

Reveille, first call, mess and taps

Melancholy, time upon time upon time

They call the ghosts of old soldiers

They grow fewer and softer

Sunday parades mollify the ghosts

Sabers flash, shakos flutter in the breeze

Drums roll, parents beam

Front Royal to Blacksburg, on all the islands

Pretty girls from fancy schools

Girls you can’t afford

Watch like girls always watch

Then dance with boys in blue and grey and green

The girls are perfect debs

The boys all spit and polish

Prideful and haughty

Heirs of a vanishing realm

The ghosts take us by the shoulders

“Oh Stop and listen to our tale.”

“There was good here. There was grace here.”

But they shot the albatross

The signs remained even then

The signs put the lie to it all

Unrepentant, put it all to the sword

“We reserve the right…”

And so the people were and they weren’t

And they did and they didn’t

And they would and they wouldn’t

Beautiful, she is marked with a scarlet letter

The girls walking on tartan carpets

Eating under crystal chandeliers

The boys polishing their brass

Drilling to ancient rhythms

The misty hills

The rolling rivers

Intoxicate you like a potion

You fall in love despite yourself

The girls grow old, they are your sisters

The cadets grow old, they are your brothers

The valley is eternal, bruised and beautiful

Easier to love with both eyes open

© Glenn R Keller 2021, All Rights Reserved

Running In Geneva

It’s pitch black out and the steady rain insures that it’s not going to get light anytime soon. It’s 5am on a winter morning in Geneva and I’m going out for a run in the rain without really knowing where I’m going.

I can remember small things…running by the florescent lit parking garages of a residential block. Towards the end of the run going down an airport road…working vehicles rumbling by me in the predawn rainy gloom. I don’t have a lot of specific memory points from that run but I wonder now if I ran by some places that my mind has confused with Richmond or Indy or something other place I’ve lived.

I’d never been there before and having arrived the previous evening, I’d never even seen the area around the hotel in daylight. But out I went, soaking wet the whole time. No distance in mind, just time. Was it an hour? Maybe.

The rain, the dark, the lack of orientation all magnified the experience. It’s why I still remember the feeling so vividly even if I can’t remember all the details. It’s a feeling filed where I can easily recall it. I’m feeling it now.