U.S.S. Carondelet (1861-73)

Fridayam's Blog

Carondelet cruises Mississippi

an upturned cooking pot afloat

broiling the men inside

bristling with guns

looking for fights and finding them

sluicing the blood of dead and deafened men

scouring the great

drainage of the West from

war’s hopeful hoopla start to its

sullied and bitter end.

Cumberland Ohio Missouri

Yazoo Red all

belch their waters into

Mississippi’s great churn and

she sailed them all (though

she barely got out of Red

caroming over rapids)

and their endless bayous overhung with trees

dripping with snipers.

She took her hits but

never lost a fight and when

they came to scrap her found

she’d gone in the night

on a flood tide, preferring

the grave of her enemies

to that of her friends.

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