II Beauharnois, Glengarry

Those whose houses were burned
burned houses. What else ever happens
once you start?
While the roofs plunged
into the root-filled cellars,
they chased ducks, chickens, anything
they could catch, clubbed their heads
on rock, spitted them, singed off the feathers
in fires of blazing fences,
ate them in handfuls, charred
and bloody.
Sitting in the snow
in those mended plaids, rubbing their numb feet,
eating soot, still hungry,
they watched the houses die like
sunsets, like their own
houses. Again
those who gave the orders
were already somewhere else,
of course on horseback.
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