The Girl I Left Behind Me, a poem by Robert A. Sieczkiewicz


The Girl I Left Behind Me, Robert A. Sieczkiewicz

Winds of war angrily blow thru my hair,
Wondering what the cost to me will be.
The misery of powder fills the air,
Giving thought to whether or not to flee.

So much young blood has fallen on the ground,
To what end does the tortured land become,
With fallen bodies not making a sound,
Never to rest on a loving bosom.

History has given us its warning.
There is not a future for those who fall,
And misery for them who are aching,
Never to be free cause of other’s thrall.

War begins with patriotic reason,
But slaughtering the young has no season.
This is a solemn painting done by Eastman Johnson. A specific date is not provided on its completion; however, it appears to have been done between 1870 and 1875.

The storm clouds in the painting tell us of trouble. The winds are blowing directly at the young lady informing the viewer that moving forward will be difficult for her. The wedding ring says she is married. Her cape with the red lining I take to mean blood running to the ground. Since it is her cape it could be the blood her husband she is addressing. She is not on her way to school. The books are symbols for the past or history. Since Johnson lived during the Civil War it is that war that she is contemplating. However, here I apply it to any war.

The painting below is of Mrs Eastman Johnson, painted around 1888.  I call your attention to the bracelet on her left arm.  Is it coincidence that it is the same as the one in The Girl That I Left Behind Me?  Or was Mr Johnson the model for that painting?  They are on different arms, not sure it that means anything.  He was 55 when he married Elizabeth Buckley in 1869.  A year later she have birth to a daughter.  Information not solid so it is difficult to get a clear picture (pardon the pun) As I could not find a birth year for Elizabeth.







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