Home Fronts.........

Short story about a uncivil war.....

Opening the front door and moving out onto the porch I can only marvel at the new morning sun , the heat from the wood cook stove follows me out as I sit holding the warm mug of coffee in both hands . The first September frosts are heavy this day and will only get worse I'm sure , It feels so good to be back home ......I have missed the warmth of the sun on my face , right here on this old porch and the heat escaping from the house warming my backsides too. My mood this morning is heavy though , as my wife has already told me .....
I've got to do something to lighten the load.
Gettysburg , Shilo , the Wilderness........each battle that you survive makes you think of miracles and yet .......how many can a man expect to survive , one , five , ten or all of them ?
The survivors is a better term than the victors . Each day as I try to get back into my life is a day filled with visions . Many of them arrive unannounced in instantly passing visions , one exploding cannonball here , a spent minnie ball whistling passed me there , ...... the echoes in the thunder of a storm will remind me of cannonfire in Richmond , before the biginning of the end.

Yes , I know my wife , It's time to return , I know that I am home , but somehow I have failed to come full circle yet , i listen as the children up stairs begin to stir in the awakening day. And as my memory flows in reverse I hear the rattling of morning coffee pots and pans of breakfasts time on the fields of battle . The clinking of the artillery and cannons as he boys prepare to march. I see the visions of the prisoners of war pass us on the march to Richmond .......and I see the images of coming battle , .............I know my love ....you waited for me and took care of our little ones while I was gone to war. Everyone knows that there is no buying of a substitute without the money needed .......... So off I went , dressed in battle blue. I must have walked a thousand miles or more .

I drain the last of my coffee and sit the empty cup on the railing of the porch , slowly and carefully I move to the edge of the floor and stare down at the steps , It seems so strange that after marching , running and crawling across the east coast that now ........now I get to stare down at the first step like a child attempting thier first step in walking .............And what young man ,thinking of the glories of battle and the heroes of war , could or would ever imagine that at the end of it all , after surviving the war itself and finally coming home ........that to look down at the steps leading off from this porch floor , that I cannot acomplish even this .............And who would have ever though that a man could walk on wooden legs ..............

My son comes running across the kitchen floor barefooted and bangs through the screen door and embraces the very part of my body that I can no longer feel ...........my legs , but in that one little motion , I now realize that I must find the strength ......and I will find it! I will walk with him across our garden once again.

Comments 4 comments

ruffridyer 5 years ago from Dayton, ohio

This is an experience soldier's throughout history and of course even today face.

ahorseback profile image

ahorseback 5 years ago Author

ruffridyer! You are right , It is shamefull, and yet the inspiration for this came from watching disabled vets on T.V. in a relay race , one man with fake legs and one arm ....running very well! Another teaching his son how to fish! I love vets and having many in my family, shamefully I only came to terms and vocalized my thanks with my marine brother who served in Nam! A few short years ago ........We must rise to our responsibilities to our veterans , they did ! And now its our turn! Thank you for sharing!....:-}

Freya Cesare profile image

Freya Cesare 5 years ago from Borneo Island, Indonesia

And again, similar question flooding the air. Those glory at his young and productive lifetime, what it give him today when everything reach its limit? Unless he still around to hold his son and give him the father he really need.

I love how it end. Full of hope of wonderful life. As soldier he knew, new battle about to start and he won't back off because this time it is for his precious son.

Thank you for enjoyable reading, father. Vote up and beautiful. ^^

ahorseback profile image

ahorseback 5 years ago Author

Freya , A big hug for you , have I told you lately that you are beautiful! AND you have a beautiful heart!........wish you were my neighbor!.....Thank you!

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