Rockvale - hallway

She Walks the Halls

How will I go to sleep tonight,
when tiny feet
from days gone by
echo down the hall,

eight children
lived inside these walls,
observers of the
bloody Civil War,

their parents couldn’t shield them
from the horrors in plain sight,
they saw the loaded guns,
they watched the flames at night,

brother against brother,
father against son,
sides were drawn,
families torn,
hearts were split in two,

not much was whole
at war’s exhausted end,

it’s rumored that a woman
is the ghost of Peacock Hill,
she roams the halls,
she looks in rooms
her spirit never still,

I may assist her search tonight
to seek the things we’ve lost,
I wonder if we’ll ever know
what endless wars
have cost.

This poem was written during my stay at Rockvale Writers’ Colony, near Franklin, Tennessee (originally called Peacock Hill). The house was built in 1853 and survived the Civil War, spared because a Northern sympathizer was the builder. Late one night, during my stay, I thought about the young parents, with eight children, who built the house a few years before the beginning of the Civil War.

Rockvale Writers’ Colony is the antithesis of all things related to war. It is a haven for writers to delve into the complexities of the human spirit.

4 responses

  1. This is wonderful, Rita! Thank you so much for sharing – you truly captured the potential creepy essence of that hallway, too!

    1. Thank you, Heather. The house is so full of history and, of course, who doesn’t love a good ghost story?!

  2. Wonderful imagery, history, emotion. Everything perfect for a poem or a story, or one heckuva dream!

  3. Thanks, Judy. Staying in this historic home gave me plenty of fodder for my active imagination. Fortunately, I never met the ghost of Peacock Hill.

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