Thirteen times under the bridge,
I waited for the sound of
Your horse hoofs knocking
Wooden hellos in advance of
Seeing you return from the war.
Thirteen times sitting at my secretary,
I wrote you of the Yankee occupation,
The lynching of widows and orphans
Never published in saintly journals
Proclaiming brotherhood’s New South.
Thirteen times meeting in Church,
I prayed the Lord would bring you
Home unfettered and whole to
Baby Adele and Brother Jake,
Dog Red and Mule Winston.
Clad in the dress you favored,
I try to smile as cheerful tree frogs
Chorus a tune for me from the marsh.
Happiness without you causes wet
Tears to return time after time.
Sunsets dim my hopes of reunion now.
Houses keep burning from fires
Blamed on Rebels too weak to walk.
What dreams may come when noneStand for us in humanity’s eclipse?