the 141st Anniversary of the Battle of Franklin
pizza delivery joint,
a Hispanic grocery,
and a convenience store specializing
in beer and hair styling products
now occupy the Yankee trenches.
You should have heard
the preservationists when
the city built a new library across
the street at the edge of the projects.
Thirty years earlier, low-income housing
ranked above blood in the soil.
Fresh out of the civil and womens rights
movements, people wanted to safeguard
the present instead of the past.
Now in the decade of conservative security,
history buffs with time and money
to spare attend city council meetings
and write Letters to the Editor
to keep the battlefield sacred
lest we forget.
With pockets of the population
still considering the Confederacy alive,
forgetting seems the least of our worries.
In fact, I find it fitting
that where our forefathers
faced the Northern Aggression,
we now have a library
for free liberal learning
and shopping opportunities
for oppressed ethnicities.
We cannot forget
because the war for rights is not over,
but the battlefield has shifted.
Collings was born and raised in Franklin, Tennessee. She is
a senior at Queens University of Charlotte in North Carolina where
she studies theater and creative writing.