Everly meets his commanding officer.
June 3, 1861
The general and his aides sat on wooden chairs
outside his tent – crows perched on a rail fence.
The table before them – draped with maps
tainted with the pencil marks of battles to be.
Join us, Everly, the general said – his face
cowers behind a beard the hangs from his jowls
like a bandit’s mask. A teacher, Everly? These boys
need an officer. They need orders, not lessons.
I don’t want them thinking. I want them fighting.
But you can rally them, lieutenant. So raise
your hands to heaven and cloud their eyes
with poetry – just make sure you spark
fires in each ass. Make war glorious
and you’ll make captain before you
fart enough to fill a whiskey flask.