Barren Hill

The fire’s gone out

in the last wooden hut

Fresh snow has been falling,

cold hunger abuts


The Red Coats emboldened

in far Germantown

The wind carries stillness,

with death all around


A General stands watch

on the farthest of hills

His heart never waivers,

his anger instills


The firewood gone

but the embers still burn

O’er forests and rivers,

to Paris in turn


The Schuylkill runs quiet,

Lenape scouts have returned

“Our enemy grows fat, Sir,

in taverns that burn”


The outcome awaiting,

its body count high

Where cabins though frozen

—the stars and stripes fly


(Valley Forge: November, 2020)



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