La Battaglia Della Sforzesca
They came in one uniform, tagged all one shape, every size, under the wind
whipped-radar, suits strategized across maps—marched as fetal cells inside cells, boot
prints as exoskeleton tramped uphill behind them.
They were citizens who mourned the old language, Latin, Aramaic, the rain’s swift
sound —miles past winter moss, heart’s thumping in iron shields, hidden in boulders,
and pre-fire pine—the near human wound, disturbed by a dark brewing, the flame’s
shout, the zero level of a trooper’s scream.
As the hooves of the cavalry’s horses gained altitude, the sea’s phrases sang in echo to
the shoreline woods, washing the dividing line of boats outward toward the village
Each prayer dated, each spectre catalogued, each dog tag marked surrender stilled in the
Remember on the eastern edge the troops retracted into hives of amaranth-weed and
rubble. Remember even in effigy you were holy.
Maureen Alsop, PhD is the author of four collections of poetry: Apparition Wren, Mantic, Later Knives & Trees and Mirror Inside Coffin. Her poems have been published widely including AGNI, Kenyon Review, Blackbird, and other; she is the recipient of several poetry prizes including Harpur Palate's Milton Kessler Memorial Award,and the Frances Locke Memorial Award.
The Ekphrastic Review
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