Annual

Paul lined up all his toy soldiers.
Three hundred and seventy-two
authentically painted
fifteen millimeter miniatures
representing American Civil War soldiers
from both sides.

He lined them up against each other.
Blue against Grey and Butternut.

Here it was again. One p.m.
July third, eighteen-sixty three
and that three-quarter mile stretch
from Seminary Ridge
past the Cordon Farm
toward that copse of trees
on Cemetery Ridge
where Hancock’s cloverleafs
waited for the charge
of Pickett’s, Pettigrew’s
and Trimble’s divisions.

As dice hit the landscaped table top
they echoed cannon thunder
as the rebel ranks thinned
in advance of the Emmitsburg Road.

This time would
Anderson’s support be prompt
and Brockenbrough’s men
advance with their
old elan and dash?

copyright © 2022 Kenneth P. Gurney

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