Vicksburg, 2014

Robert and Marcy Branski Poetry Scholarship Award – Poetry

Hannah Riffell

Elk Rapids Highschool – Senior

O, what these Southern hills have seen,

Is now embalmed in evergreen.

Standing here, one could not know

What happened once, in this still scene.

For buttercup and white yarrow,

Over the native grasses grow,

As garlands on a casket lay

To hide all trace of Death below.

And yet the River, dark as clay,

Still runs unbridled on its way,

Though for its sake, was blood released

And men now under stone decay.

These haunted hills, all sound did cease

Save for the sweep of willow trees-

A silence mistaken for peace.

This silence, mistaken for peace.