A sonnet from Thomas Davis
Inside the barn the memories of war
As horses ate their hay and cows were fed:
Inside three men, one white, two black, the roar
Of cannon, sight and sound of men that bled
Their lives out as the living and the dead
Were showered with hot, splintering fusillades
Flung in the wave-tossed night from hell, the dread
Of battle dancing as the barricades
Of what you were in being human fades
Into the chaos burning through the night.
The Preacher frowned: “Destruction serenades
Our hearts against our spirit’s holy light,”
He said. The others nodded. Each had prayed
To find the place where joy and hope was made.
Note: This is the next in the series of sonnets written as heads of chapter for a novel I am trying to work on. I have published several of these sonnets with previous posts. The sequence presents insights into an escape of slaves to Washington Island in Wisconsin before the Civil War. There was a small community of blacks on the island just before passage of the Fugitive Slave Act of 1850.