Daddy's Christmas Angel

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

What About the Lincoln Movie?

Every week I am amazed by the thorough job Alex J. Cavanaugh does reviewing the latest movies. I admire the people who do those reviews on television as well. However, we never get to movie theaters anymore. I suppose when you get caught up with watching baseball games most every day and living a creative life that often takes over other things, there just isn't any time left.

However, occasionally I do watch a movie on television, and Sunday night I saw Lincoln. Even on the small screen, this movie was powerful. Everything was basically black and white. I later wondered if the movie was in color at all. That was a time of darkness. So much was lost on those Civil War battlefields.

As a child, I grew up near Sunken Road where one of the bloodiest battles of the war took place. Marye's Heights was not far away from my home. Fredericksburg was under siege for many days, and the elementary school I attended still had bloodstains on the floors from its service as a Civil War hospital. Sometimes I could still feel the pain in the old city streets.

The art gallery where I showed my work for 10 years was located in Petersburg not many steps away from where the Lincoln movie was made. A photographer with a studio near mine managed to take pictures of some of the movie sets. Having Steven Spielberg in the city was a real big deal for residents. As I watched the movie on Sunday, I tried to recognize some of the settings there and in Richmond. It brought back memories and sadness for dark days in our nation's history. It made me remember the poem I wrote for the anthology, Happy Birthday, Mr Lincloln! published by the National League of American Pen Women in 2009. It made me remember too much.

 Mr. Lincoln, Did You Hear?

Mr. Lincoln, did you hear
Voices whisper in the night?
Forget not they passed this way
Forget not the march they made
Forget not the song they sang
Forget not the streets
Of old Petersburg
Where their footsteps echo in the night.

Mr. Lincoln, did you hear
Dying cries of ten thousand men
And more—all lost near a sunken road?
Or were they vanquished at Marye’s Heights?
So many soldiers brave and young
They fought for country, family, pride
As did the men of General Lee
Who battled anxious, long, and valiant.

Mr. Lincoln, did you hear
Screams of fury in the night?
Where pontoons crossed mud-struck waters
Guns blazed from village shops and homes
Cannonballs embedded thick walls of brick.
Confusion, pain
A school with bloodstained floors
All there in old Fredericksburg.

Mr. Lincoln, did you hear
The march onward to Richmond?
Wheeled guns upon a hill
War-weary generals who believed
A country divided cannot stand
Virginia, the first English colony
Forget not the blood flowing in her streets
Where footsteps still echo in the night.

©Mary Montague Sikes, April 2008


Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Wow, that is a really powerful poem, Mary!
Lincoln was an excellent film. Cool that it was filmed near you.
I don't think my reviews are great, but thanks, glad you appreciate them. I'll keep doing them!

Mary Montague Sikes said...

They give a great overview, Alex! that's important in the Internet age! thank you!

Mary Montague Sikes said...
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