The Bone Ring

By Donald Hall

The summer when I saw the Trylon and Perisphere,
I sat on the farm porch with my Great-Uncle Luther
who told me that when he was nine he watched
the soldier boys walking back home from Virginia.

The new war started, and always another war.

He showed me family keepsakes from the attic—
a top hat his father wore, a bugle, and remnants
that emptied the pockets of a cousin killed at Shiloh:
a button, a spoon, and a ring carved out of bone.

This article available online at:

http://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2010/10/the-bone-ring/308224/