Liberated, they lay like rags
behind the wire, soulless eyes
in soulless faces, earth tossed
over shoulders frail as wishbones.
He, too, could have been spared
the nightmare hood, the stained
snow—the first American shot
for desertion since the Civil War.
Will we be judged by madness?
Or does the heart still
beat witness beneath
history’s dull indifferent shroud?
Author’s Note: Dachau and the Execution of Private Eddie Slovik was first published in The Copperfield Review.
Peter Taylor is a Canadian poet whose writing has appeared internationally in journals and anthologies, including Aperçus Quarterly, Construction, The Copperfield Review, Contemporary Verse 2, Eunoia, Frostwriting, Ink, Sweat & Tears, The Linnet’s Wings, Nether, Pirene’s Fountain, Poetry Australia, Pyrta, and StepAway Magazine. His books include Trainer, The Masons, and Aphorisms, and his experimental verse play on the Civil War, Antietam, won honorable mention in the War Poetry Contest in Northampton, Massachusetts. winningwriters.com/past-winning-entries/antietam.