A Civil War Death

Today’s WordPress Daily Prompt calls poets to illustrate a type of barrier. The poem shared below is from my book The Journals of Lt. Kendall Everly. In it, Lt. Everly describes how he strangled a Confederate enemy. The horror of his brutality begins to batter him, to bar him from the normal existence he knew before the war.


August 4, 1861 – Entry IV

His neck was thin. My fingers
slid around it as they might caress
your neck, Elizabeth. Yet, it was slicked
with blood so it felt as if I tightened

my grip around a fish. Hunched over
like Notre Dame’s bell ringer, I pulled
his head closer to mine. He might
have thought I meant to kiss him.

My heart, my mind, both bubbled
with some foul Satanic froth,
both marveled at the deepening color
of his face, a deep purple, a fine wine.

I gulped the dying gasps of this boy
as if his death would envelop me
with the silken filaments of salvation.
My fingers tightened. His neck grew

thinner, a wet string. His mouth,
like a gate, opened, dark and wide,
attempting to conjure breath. His limbs
flailed attempting to embrace the air.

His eyes, opened wide like globes.
Damn you, I screamed. DAMN YOU.
And then, there was death. He was still
And I was lost. Dear God, I am lost.


9 thoughts on “A Civil War Death

  1. Pingback: A Day With Chef Rene | The Jittery Goat

  2. Pingback: Daily Prompt: Obstacle Course | The Wandering Poet

  3. Pingback: Daily Prompt: Obstacle Course | tnkerr-Writing Prompts and Practice

  4. Pingback: Daily Prompt: Obstacle Course | Chronicles of an Anglo Swiss

  5. Pingback: Obstacle Course | Life as a country bumpkin...not a city girl

  6. Pingback: It’s a thirsty man who writes for any reason. [Mama #2] | Rob's Surf Report

  7. Pingback: I needed it in black ‘n white! | Words 'n Pics...

  8. Pingback: The Brick Wall | The Hickey Diaries

  9. Pingback: A Poetic Duet With JaneyBGood – “Vanquishing Doubt” | toofulltowrite (I've started so I'll finish)

Say something!! Please?

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s