Here above Vicksburg, along the Mississippi,
Union and Confederate soldiers once waited
In trenches dug low in hilly ground,
maybe watching whipperwills and fat bees,
or dark swallowtails
float by on warm spring air.
They stopped shooting each nightfall,
instead traded insults, call and response,
Johnny Reb to Yank, and laughed
as they hunkered down
over dried biscuits,
maybe a night fire to warm their bones.
Not a man among them didn’t wish
some way they were at home.