I saw my likeness
in the sepia tones of a daguerreotype.
A single ostrich feather in my Hardee hat.
The face stony, holding still for the exposure.
I was dressed for war.
Adorned with war’s accoutrements.
Then I saw the dead
the man who shared my likeness killed
with a Merrill carbine
and three Colt six-shooters.
I saw hope in the dead’s eyes
upon me spying them within the bounds of the photo
like suddenly their fright evaporated
and their shaking ceased.
Like the trauma of the grievous wounds
settled in my generation and expired.
copyright © 2022 Kenneth P. Gurney