Friday, April 19, 2013

Poetry Friday: The Alamo

It's my first time in San Antonio, and Jean, the teacher I'm traveling with, is here for the first time too. So what did we do today? We went and picked up our registration materials for the IRA conference we're attending, and then we went to Target.  When you live in Haiti, and you're in the States for five days, there are just some things you have to buy.  We're hoping to go to the Alamo this evening before it closes.  In the meantime, here's a poem about it.

Are any of you Poetry Friday people going to be here at the International Reading Association conference this week?  If so, it would be great to meet you.  Leave a message in the comments!

Within the Alamo

He drew a straight line
Across the dirt floor:
Within, it was death-still--
Without, was a roar
And a scream of the trumpets:
Within, was a Word--
And a line drawn clean
By the sweep of a sword.
No help was coming, now--
That hope was done.
No more the free air,
no more the sun
Bright on the blue leagues
Of buffalo-clover.
Travis drew a line
And they all crossed over.
Travis had a wife at home,
Travis was young;
Travis had a little boy
Whose tight arms clung,
But Travis saw a far light
Shining before:
Travis drew a sword-cut
Across the dirt floor.

And now the old fort stands
Placid and dim,
Blinking and dreaming
Of them and of him;
And now past the Plaza
Other tides roar,
since Travis wrote "Valor"
Across the sand floor,
And the guns they will rust,
And the captains will go,
And an end come at last
To the wars that we know,
But as long as there travails
A Spirit in man,
In a war that was ancient
Before Time began,
Here will the brave come
To read a high Word--
Cut clean in the dust
By the stroke of a sword.


Linda at teacherdance said...

Ruth, I've been out of town, just returned home last night, & had a long day at work, just catching up on all the posts. Lovely poem about the Alamo. I've never been, but my son & family are now in Texas & visited. They said it was smaller than imagined, but the history was interesting. I hope you made it there. I don't blame you for going to Target-great store! Wonderful that you're there in San Antonio. I can't make it, but hope to get to Boston in the fall for NCTE. I hope you'll get to post about your experiences! Have a wonderful time!

Irene Latham said...

Ruth, I hope you enjoyed your visit to the Alamo! I've visited before, a few years back. I do know there are poets in town for IRA- Janet Wong, Sylvia Vardell, Amy LV and others... be sure to contact them directly!