BEFORE MEMORIAL DAY

From my friend and poetry publisher, James Penha, of New Verse News poetry magazine

SUNDAY, MAY 29, 2016

BEFORE MEMORIAL DAY

by James Penha

Large group of school children, with their teacher, standing in a town street, circa 1850s. Daguerreotype by an unknown photographer. Original in the Daguerreotypes Collection of the Library of Congress.

Which of these boys
in the back rows shucked
his suit for another uniform, packed
a Remington revolver 1858,
a Colt 1860,
or a Beaumont-Adams,
aimed a Pattern Enfield 1853 rifled musket,
a Springfield 1861,
or an M1841 Mississippi Rifle,
held high a Model 1832 foot Artillery Sword,
a Cutlass, or a Bowie knife,
before he was cranked
and grounded by a Gatling
or by J.D. Mill’s Coffee Mill Gun?

And how
many?

Which of their teachers?

Who among the girls cried
for the dead? Who
among the littler
boys?

Who craved
more?

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