Stacey Lynn Brown

Sherman’s march snaked through the South

Sherman’s march snaked through the South

with the alliteration he felt entitled to,

ku klux clinging like a kudzu curse,

like the carpetbaggers soon to come.


Laying over in Savannah, his commanders slept

in courtyard houses on the cobbled streets

(with the silver hidden just out of view)

while the infantry camped in a cemetery,


bed rolled in diagonal lines. Taking out their

knives, they carved new relief, changing

the dates on the marble fonts, the dead now dying

long before their births.


And then that third grade history book, its chapter

The War of Northern Aggression

so convincing in its righteousness

that my friend and I agreed


it was a good thing that we’d won or else

slaves would have never been freed.

How could we be the bad

guys when everyone I knew


was decent and kind, stirred slow

like sugar melting in sun tea?