Ballad from Heaven

By Douglas J. Lanzo

After touring Antietam’s hallowed battleground,
where many thousands of Civil War soldiers
were slain or wounded one fateful day,
my twins sons and I
came upon Private Soldier Monument,
a towering marble statue
of a federal army soldier
affectionately dubbed “Old Simon.”

As we read Old Simon’s engraving:
“Not for themselves but for their country
September 17, 1862,”
a tiny finch emerged out of nowhere
and alighted upon the soldier’s cap.
Before I could take a picture,
the bird began to sing,
its lyrical voice weaving together
strands of sadness, gratitude and hope:
a ballad from heaven, leaving me breathless.

“I write to unlock a bit of the hope and inspiration that resides within us during these difficult times.” – the writer

7 thoughts on “Ballad from Heaven

    1. I love this poem. Douglas has a caring soul and teaches us the beauty of many things from small creatures to habits of animals to heart rendering thoughts like that are in this poem. Simply beautiful.


  1. Public service warriors and heroes cannot be thanked enough. There are no words. But Doug captures the gravity of gratitude that we all share for them and their tireless and often thankless service.


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