Leather boots and horse clod hooves
trample lives of southern charm,
without remorse or recompense.
Instead, they just bring hell.
Rivers flow from tearful eyes
while cousins scorch the land.
The past is gone and future black,
as our world is catching fire.
Flaming tendrils of broken hearts
stretch long for unfound hope,
through acrid smoke and burning dust
as memories become gray ash.
Sherman’s men, all clad in blue,
leave down Decatur Road.
As humbled souls, we’ll start to heal
from his march down to the sea.
My book club’s monthly poetry prompt called for a “march/marching” poem for March. Somehow, I’ve had about a dozen conversations about the Civil War in the past month, so Sherman’s March to the Sea was the first idea that popped into my head. I tried to catch a few historical allusions in the poem while capturing both the horror of the war and hope in its aftermath.