To Richard

He cries out in the night!
Is youth so ripe
Cut down in the battle?

Tears stain his jacket of blue.
His life, cut short,
Saw no end to the fighting.
His grave is not alone.

Years pass,
And he suffers new wounds.
The war goes on;
Hell lingers.

Oh God! Where is the peace
And brotherhood?
Must he die again
While men seek peace in war?

Betty Jean Swartz
1972, revised 2/27/95

Richard Ackerman was mortally wounded in the Second Battle of Bull Run.  His grave lies in Willow Grove Cemetery in New Brunswick, New Jersey.  May he rest someday in peace.

To Richard: An Epilogue

At Bull Run's shores
A boy fell down,
And lay tormented 
In the ground.

Another war,
Then two and three.
His soul cried out
Beneath the tree.

A century passed
His kindred fell
In Vietnam, 
Another Hell.

When will all the
Fighting cease,
And let the fallen
Rest in peace?

Betty Jean Swartz

While perusing an index of names on the Vietnam Memorial, I discovered two Ackermans from New Jersey.  I'd like to think that David Foley Ackerman and Thomas Alan Ackerman are the last...

Go to Swartz/Roller Poetry.

Copyright © 1995-2001
BJ Swartz
Posted 3 December 1997