August/September 2005

Rebel Dead
John Hubbard

The Union boy pushes deeper
beneath the river cut edge.
Darkness envelops the lip
of the bank as his breathing
trumpets loudly,
and must surely give
evidence to his hiding place.
The undead Rebel soldiers,
with their slow
but determined gait,
spill pebbles and pine needles
over the precipice
in front of the scared Yankee.
They sniff the air like hyenas.
The dead above,
the living below.
Thick roots from the river birch
stretch down through the soil
in a blind grasp,
like the undead fingers above
that stroke the mandolin
announcing the Zombie’s march.
‘Oh I wish I was in the land of cotton’