Shouting the battle cry of freedom
We go south
giving birth to idealism
beneath the Spanish moss;
plucking possession as though it
had won us – drunk us into time,

a timeless
time,

antebellum southern belle

stands on porches overlooking
the shadow cotton; the slave

stirs tea somewhere in the
gut of the house, and the slave
boys catch tales of swamp
foxes and devils between
their teeth.

The old Cajun,
Norlans, spoken as one
word, with accent,

Charleston,
by the water where
lovers wed beneath the
white wick of the moon,

Atlanta,
before it burned.

Mammy doll,
mammy doll,

mammy doll – give
her to lay down in sleep
and genteel Creole wallops
the fervor of the still day, while
the soldier kisses his mother; begs
pardon of time

possessing it for but the slightest of moments,

languishing in servitude to
a world of unflagging octaves
and arias ofpetulant aristocracy -

they were not all christened in
wealth,

the other boys
with dirt on their hands,
the stale hardtack stuck
between their teeth,

the other ones wearing gray
shouting the sullen battle
cry of freedom before a god
they were all taught to believe in.