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I was here a year ago
and many were the friends I lost.
Casualty lists now mount and grow
a tally of the whirlwind's cost.

All those shallow graves from then
laid bare by twelve months' wind and rains
leave, exposed, skulls' ghastly grins
still bearing clothes with moldy stains.

Those bones throughout these woods so thick
invite us to fall and join their ranks.
They drain morale relentless as a tic;
accusations swarm from sockets, blank.

And on we fight through this grave yard,
through dry duff and rotted clothes
where bones appear like ancient shards.
Cordite and dust mat in my nose.

By day the confused battle rages
darkness reveals a world on fire,
leaves kindled as if paper pages.
Sparks and souls rise in the pyre.

The worst of hell arrives at night
as wounded men who cannot flee
watch as that advancing light
brings death with burning agony.

And the living hear those screams
echoing throughout uncharted land.
For years their cries will haunt night dreams
keeping night terrors close at hand.

All through that wilderness of death
those weeks of war with no clear gain,
though scores of thousands drew last breath.
How could those men have remained sane?

Were you one who fell one day
and couldn't move from where you lay
forced to watch flames creep your way
would it matter if you wore blue or gray?

Style / type: 
Structured: Western
Review Request (Intensity): 
I want the raw truth, feel free to knock me on my back
Last few words: 
The second battle of the wilderness fought during the war between the states was fought through a thick wilderness of nearly uncharted thick forest. This was the same wilderness which had born the brunt a a battle the year before. Those killed during the first battle (tens of thousands) had been buried where they fell in shallow graves. Many of these graves had been exposed by weather and scavengers during that year. So these soldiers were fighting in such thick woods that one might not be able to see an enemy they could plainly hear and were fighting through a veritable bone yard of year old corpses. Nobody knows how many people died from "friendly" fire. And come nightfall when the battles stopped all too often the surrounding dry woods were ablaze from the day's fighting. And those who had been wounded and couldn't move were treated to watching these fires approach before they burned ,screaming, to death. Tens of thousands of men died in this weeks old battle and when it was over the only thing which had been accomplished was death. But the south had fewer troops to spare compared to the union.This second battle has been pretty well recognized as the most horrendous of the war. Others had more casualties and larger armies but none other was waged in such terrible surroundings.........stan
Editing stage: 


Don't know how i missed this one i read all your work ( though i may not always comment, sorry ). Why no one else has commented on such a great work i don't know. Anyway this is a great poem and deeply moving when thinking of the waste in war. Regards Roscoe..

Roscoe Llane,

Religion will rip your faith off, and return
for the mask of disbelief that's left.

I think there are days when a lot of new poetry hits the stream and those which were made early in the day get pushed off the first page of "track all activity"page then get lost. But having a poem of mine receive few or no comment doesn't bother me. Gives me impetus to review it and see where improvements are needed.

But good to see you apparently are visiting undiscovered works list and ran across this one. I appreciate your visit.......stan

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