Today’s NaPoWriMo prompt challenged me to find a line from a book I love, name the poem with that line, write a poem from that line, then rename the poem. I selected Battle of the Wilderness by Gordon C. Rhea and chose the line “Death holds high carnival in our ranks” about the struggle the Union army had at Saunders Field. The poem I wrote is about how Union soldiers experienced all four seasons of life and death in the nightmare of forest battle.
Ash of smoke and powder cover us like Winter snow,
And chalky ghosts of men cry out like cattle.
My brothers lay in heavy stacks like Spring logs,
And a fateful bullet sang our general from his saddle.
It is an awful battle full of flames like Summer heat,
And fire dances playfully across our flanks.
Brave men are falling like Autumn leaves,
And death holds high carnival in our ranks.
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