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Charles Cingolani

American Civil War

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Visit to Antietam

1.

Alone I arrive, walking from Frederick

over the gaps, across gentle hills

out onto a knoll

to view this burnished landscape.

Before me I see

countless writhing rows

of indiscernible shapes

gathered in terrible rituals

mid fire and smoke

that darken the sun.

From distant corners I hear

the rhythmic thudding of cannon,

and from fields

astir with figures converging

the eery muffled rumbling of drums.

From behind, hoofing sod aloft

couriers gallop past

straightway into throngs

to where ruffled flags slant,

to men mounted, with swords drawn,

about to unleash their flexing lines

to collide with columns coming on . . .

Continue reading the poem.

Edited by Charles Cingolani

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