To Cover the Wounds

Within the old fort, in the woods overgrown
Near the mound where they buried the magazine
To store their cruel iron a thicket grows —
A young doe naps in the afternoon

Behind the green leaves her rough bed hides
And winding wands secure her in shadow,
The air is grayish and cool inside,
Sun on the ramparts splashes yellow

A song bird's whistle, she does not wake
Or stir at the warning until I draw near,
But then she unfolds her legs and takes
Umbrage at me though there's nothing to fear

Then she could never have slept nearby
When the trees had been cleared for a field of flame,
And officers shouted and men would lie
In the rifle pits to take their aim

The long guns lofted their hundred pounds
And crashing, not song notes, came out of their mouths —
Better it is that the men are gone
And the fort in green leaf to cover the wounds

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