by Matt Dischner
Shenandoah stirs my wooded memory,
crumpling leaves an underfoot percussion
to longdraw exhales on the violin
tumbling through an oak aged ravine
I remember from childhood,
an old plantation
and reenacted battlefield,
a Civil War camp for young boys.
They dressed us up and fed us hardtack
and I pointed a toy rifle at a boy I didn’t like
and shouted bang and he fell
and then he got back up and shouted bang
and I fell.
We were on a flanking mission.
Hidden in the footprint of a long rotten silo,
one CO and two scouts
sighting in on twenty odd boys
in kepis and cargo shorts,
twelve year olds in Napoleonic style.
They wheeled to face our brothers
bearing down on them across the sun dried grass.
As they shouldered arms we fired.