Each June Twenty-Third

I waved a gun around last night
like four years of war
were finally declared over
and we had won.

I jabbed it in the air many times
without the bayonet
as if to punctuate my joy
which I lost at some camp ground.

I did not fire the gun in celebration.
That would have taken
twenty to thirty seconds of preparation
for the peculiar bang of it.

No one saw this repeated celebration.
The back yard was cloaked with trees.

copyright © 2022 Kenneth P. Gurney


On June 23, 1865 Confederate General Stand Watie surrendered at Doaksville in the Choctaw Nation (now Oklahoma) which ended the American Civil War more than two months after Appomattox.

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