Exhale

Exhale

A Poem by Bradley
"

Civil War inspired poem.

"

This is the prelude to my short story The Letter.

Exhale


Ninth column, fifth rank

The sky is gray, the earth is cold

My breath is white and steady

I hear their drums

Our brothers have come

They crest the hill

And enter the field where we will kill

The captain issues a command

Our bugle sounds

We march out, muskets in hand


I see trembling breath

From the man on my left

Breathe freely my friend

It will be better in the end

The bugle plays halt


Now I see the enemy's breath

Their souls too are fleeing death

By nostril and by mouth

I exhale and let mine out


Ninth column, fifth rank

They fire the first volley

Souls and smoke bind

Is this our folly?


Ninth column, fourth rank

Our lines return fire

Muskets like a choir

Roaring lead and smoke

Evil spirits they provoke

Haunting our ranks

Then dissipating at our flanks

The enemy fires again


Ninth column, third rank

Pain, loneliness, fear,

Growling, choking, gurgling

Our choir sings again

Spirits return seeking more souls

But the souls have fled

We're all just bodies no better than dead

Another incoming volley


Ninth column, second rank

The body in front of me kneels

I find an upright target

And point my musket

A hand grabs my leg

I look down

A man begins to beg

Did he not let his soul flee?

I kick the hand off of me

From the barrel I let death escape

To go seek a distant shape

But for me death flies

And the man in front of me dies


Ninth column, first rank

The sky is white, the earth is warm

Our enemies number few

They retreat to fight anew

A few stray shots

Finish off the lot


I breathe deeply

To summon my soul

And return me whole


A hand nudges my leg

The man is still pleading

I kneel and try to stop his bleeding

The sky is gray, the earth is cold

My breath is white and steady

© 2013 Bradley


Author's Note

Bradley
My longest poem yet, so please point out any mistakes you see. Also, what do think overall? I think I rather like this one.

Revision 1: I added two lines at the end to help close the poem.

My Review

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Featured Review

Very nice. The two lines at the end are good. I think it would be weird without them. I could see the pictures clearly when reading this poem. ... When I read les mis, i recall that hugo was very descriptive, and it made his story slow, but the descriptions were worth it to understand the story.. I like this poem a lot.

Posted 10 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.




Reviews

I see it, I hear it, I smell it, I am there on the battlefeild with them. Excellent work. I love the ending.

Posted 9 Years Ago


I really like it. I'm always drawn to historical inspired poems and this is great. Nice imagery.

Posted 10 Years Ago


Very nice. The two lines at the end are good. I think it would be weird without them. I could see the pictures clearly when reading this poem. ... When I read les mis, i recall that hugo was very descriptive, and it made his story slow, but the descriptions were worth it to understand the story.. I like this poem a lot.

Posted 10 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

A splendid read and write on the civil war...Bravo

This review was written for a previous version of this writing

Posted 10 Years Ago



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422 Views
4 Reviews
Rating
Added on October 5, 2013
Last Updated on November 20, 2013
Tags: Soul, spirit, breath, war, musket, smoke

Author

Bradley
Bradley

MN



About
I am a husband and father of four. more..

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