November Natchez, 1863
Spongy homespun suits, sopping, stoneweight,
turgid, seamless serges, saturate,
streaming sodden shelters, scarred swollen shapes
scared to swamp the Mississippi steamships,
stranded soldiers, stockstill side-by-side,
soul-soaked, skin-drenched, scan a listless tide.
Stale smelling stench, unwashed places, social
graces scarce supply, unstirred flesh, miasmal
seepage stuns the senses, ceding the scene
as certain suicide, erasing sights, scents, obscene.
Constant sheeting, slanting sleet, slapping faces
astern the upperclass salon's stewardship of places
snug, serene, secure, captain, shipmates, crew
seeing the seedy misery, with Pilate washed up, too.