Ladies with Lanterns

            What lights prelude the sleeping dawn?
            That the heavens compare to flickering fire flies
            ‘tis ladies with lanterns searching embattled ground
            Where grows rows of soldier-dying cries
            Each flame of hope, encased with doubt,
            Is carried by a trembling heart
            And leads her step, despite thought’s distress
            That her beloved’s soul did yet depart
            The rise of morning’s shroud unveils
            Each lantern by a corpse now extinguished in glow,
            And a wife, who was but a day before
            Now dons the mantle of tears of a soldier’s widow

            Silvia Pecota
            June 6, 2013
            dedicated to the women who lost their husbands in battle during the War of 1812