“1863” – Day One


The town was entered from opposite sides,

on horse by the Blue, and foot for the Gray.

The North, from the south; the South from the north,

as if old Misrule carried the day.

A comedic performance seemed well underway,

when tragic events would turn the whole play.


John Reb had come in to buy some new shoes,

something befitting his bare feet and toes.

He paid with the script the Confederates use,

the use of which matched the worth of his clothes.


Imagine the looks of total surprise.

Unexpected each were, the blue and gray eyes.

Shot begat shot, and before long were more;

and casualties climbed to heights none before.


Three days of battle, where nobody won;

unless one counts whole bodies intact.

Both limped away, both licking wounds;

one thing left certain: Lee’s image was done.


One-Hundred-Thousand plus men here collide,

one-half of the number, left here have died.

The first day, a skirmish, John Buford held off

Ewell’s shoe shoppers with men bare enough.


Until reinforcements by Reynolds renews

the strength of John Buford, the going got tough.

And poor John Reb, in tattered worn clothes,

at least died for something, wearing new shoes.


The first day’s surprises come to a stop,

the next day full forces at Little Round Top.







©2013, Marvin Loyd Welborn

28 July 2013


Poem’s Score: 2.4


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