Academic journal article Southern Quarterly

Miss Scarlett at the Atlanta Train Yard

Academic journal article Southern Quarterly

Miss Scarlett at the Atlanta Train Yard

Article excerpt

It was a lazer pit of suffering

bodies strewn across the yard and tracks

as if swallowed by a tornado

then whirled into Atlanta to die.

Tattered voices crying for unction;

stretcher bearers with no time to stop

running with empty pallets

or with bodies smashed by cannon blasts

or oozing fly-swollen wounds.

Miss Scarlett rushes past stubs

of arms and hands pleading

for air, water, a touch, a word.

Delusions spread like contagion

infecting companies of defeated veterans

from Shiloh, Gettysburg, Antietam.

Some say she is St. Peter come

to nurse them back to health

with her shadow.

For others she is Christ, if only

they could touch the hem of her hoop skirt. …

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