I again return to my developing manuscript, The Journals of Lt. Arthur Kendal Everly. In this poem, Everly sits on battle’s treacherous brink, the battle of First Bull Run.
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Moths to a Flame
July 20, 1861
A force has gathered,
mighty enough to fracture
Achilles’ spirit. Lincoln presses us
to blood and battle;
we are his dogs. Gen. McDowell
will unleash us, but he unbinds
a legion of pups. Tonight,
I dread not death. It will visit
me when it wills. Still, I tremble.
Soon, fate will call me to lead,
to carve the battlefield with my courage,
and rally these boys with each drum
of my heart. As a moth follows a flame
to its death, I fear I’ll usher my charge
into hell’s foulest fire.