The poem posted below is the first poem in the third section of my manuscript. In this section, Private Hercules McGraw endures various aspects of war – battle yes, but so much more can hang heavy on a soldier’s heart and bones.
Actions was days behind us
and I aint saying I missed it,
but since I last snapped my gun,
all the army wanted us doing
was marching. I swear I stepped
in the same boot print I stepped
in the day before and the day before that –
each deep enough to house
a regiment of termites.
I still think about the soldiers
who left them: Reb or Fed.
Where they walked to?
Chasing the distant pluck
of musket pops or running
from the same. Ain’t no matter –
soldiers don’t get away. Blood always
soaks their skin – them and the ones they killed.