Culpeper National Cemetery
Afterwards, they marked the graves of the unknown dead from the Civil War
with small square numbered stones
planted in the earth.
Beside each one, stuck in the ground, is a small American flag.
Some of the flags have fallen
in the wind, some
are wrapped around their little wooden sticks like bandages,
and the rest are turned in every direction,
fluttering as if waving
for help or speaking a language only they can understand,
though it doesn't seem to ease
their bewilderment at all.
About the author:
Mark Jackley's most recent book is Appalachian Night, available from the author for free at
firstname.lastname@example.org. His work has appeared or is forthcoming in Natural Bridge, FifthWednesday, Sugar House Review, Gravel, Talking River, and other journals. He lives in Sterling, VA.