Paul walks up Wilson Street
on his way home from Napoleon’s,
a hobby shop, with his brown paper bag
full of twenty-five millimeter Hessians—
a brigade’s worth in the manner
of the games he plays.
He regularly replays old fights
or imagines new ones.
Talk to him and you will soon perceive
that history sticks in him,
is always close at hand
with small details
about the American Revolution
or the Army of Freedom.
Even though he purchased Hessians today,
he leans toward commanding
the side that fights for a new birth of freedom—
which, in his mind, does not include
though he fully appreciates
the South’s strong desire for self-rule.
takes shape on a table top,
soldiers find their colors
prepare to reenact a flanking march
in the otherwise peaceful countryside
where uniforms presuppose the autumn leaves
of arbors, windbreaks and woodlots.
copyright © 2018 Kenneth P. Gurney