I hiked on a trail to the past
And was led to the present.
Upon my personal survey of the trail,
I discovered several reference points,
Chiseled into stone, arrows pointing
To a slot that the professional may use
To determine the height of this path.
The slot was created by his predecessor.
Like most passers-by, I didn’t realize what this meant,
But paid my respect due to it’s age.
As I trudged along the well-worn muddy path,
Up and down peaks and valleys,
I came to a peak with a monument on top.
I couldn’t miss the monument-
Though it wasn’t what I was searching for.
It was right beside a miniscule, marble stone
With a bronze disk that marked the elevation of this pinnacle that I sought to see.
My accomplishment of elevation was overshadowed by a very impressive-massive sculpture,
En Memoriam of those who died in war.
As a veteran, I stood silent, spinning with the earth.
I considered the circle of conflict, or is it a sphere, that is so pervasive,
We honor it by cutting off the camouflaged, circular
-Keeper of time, and it’s associated branches,
-encouraging erosion at the top,
And asking people to lose more appendages by chopping trees and chiseling marble,
As tall as the great, sappy time-keepers,
Effectively overshadowing this little bronze disk-
That to me is second in majesty,
Only to the great circular time-keepers,
That will continue to grow,
IF we don’t stop them.
The marble erodes and decays
Only to be discovered over-again
Over-shadowing a benchmark
Surrounded by the great, circular, sappy,
Keepers of time that rarely speak aloud,
Except the peaceful creeks I hear
As air sways them to and fro
Dancing as I travel with them through life.
After my hike, I visited my white father,
A war historian,
And discovered that he was the surveyor of the project that eroded this naturally pure, priceless pinnacle,
And I asked why?
©2021 George B. Swann