Early Morning, Wednesday, October 1, 1919: Lonnie and Other White Men From McGehee Board A Missouri Pacific Railroad Train Bound For Elaine And The Killing Fields To Quell “The Black Insurrection.”


We have our rifles, pistols, and bullets,

But do we have enough anger? That’s

What I’ll ask myself. We didn’t start

This war nor did we choose it, black

Demons all. We can’t take our eyes off

Of the lot, trying to break loose. Why

Can’t they learn this world? God meant

It to be our way, or it just couldn’t be:

Blacks, merely a white man’s shadow.


Year after year, the same challenge, no

Less. We hold our guns and threats at

The ready, and our will sharpened like

Fine blades. With time passing, we grip

In place, unalterable, constant, as the land

Reaches back always to the sameness

That is known and to be known from

One generation to the next, not to be

Undone, certainty in unsure seasons.


Children cannot supplant the father, a

Truism that never quite gets its due

Respect, but through a rising storm or

By rope or scalded iron. The dreams

Of the obscure, the visions of unfree

Men – they fade under the first glow

Of sunrise, returning only in the dark

Persuasion of the untrue; but we, in

Form and fate, make such dreams trite.