This place is drawn loosely from my own memory files. I remember the raw emotion overcoming my entire family as we happened across this very unexpected find.
It is a crisp Tuesday afternoon. Autumn colors draw me from my home in solitary pilgrimage. Cold, grey clouds clot the sky like eiderdown and play peek-a-boo with the waning sun. The Appalachian earth not yet thawed, crunches like corn chips beneath my feet. The perfectly manicured grass is shock green between seas of fathomless, motionless white markers, the callous account of freedom's ransom. Row after row of these sentinels stand vigilant for those they serve. The loss is immeasurable and washes through me as a torrent. I turn my collar against the contesting breeze laden with the scent of cedar and wild columbine and listen as the song birds hush their melodies in reverence. The valley that once harbored war against brothers now cradles her victims in sheltering arms hidden among the golden ash and rowan, far from the view of the bustling highway. I stand rooted, absorbing the voiceless whispers from forgotten ghosts. The rest, the rest is silence, Hamlet would say. I turn from the dead to take the long walk home, my steps heavy. I am weary and changed like the season, preparing for winter’s slumber and the promise of peace.