For the holiday season, here's a poem from Jeff Mann's wonderful collection Rebels.
He is sleeping in a field between
Berkeley Springs and Hancock,
he and his Rebs exhausted from
the march. After midnight a wet
finger brushes his brow, and he
murmurs awake, pulls the damp
blanket over his face and sleeps
again, corpse-still. When
he wakes in first light, he wakes
warm, too warm, tosses off
his blanket, scatters five inches of
mountain snow that sheltered him
in the night like a crystal shield of
righteousness, like a father’s arms,
and he looks about him at
the great logs of men...covered over
with snow and as quiet as graves,
rising one by one warm, amazed,
shaking off God’s wool—and oh,
how they wish they might weave
of snow durable and lasting
blankets, as snow shields tender
wheat and the earth-tamped hope
of seeds, till one breaks the mood,
The Resurrection!” and they
are up, starting small fires for
a spitted beef and hardtack breakfast.
Rebels is out now from Lethe Press. Check it out.
What's new with Lethe Press...