Late Morning, Wednesday, October 1, 1919: Milligan Giles, Barely Conscious, Lies In The Mud, Shot Through The Chin Along Govan Slough By Henry Smiddy Of The Missouri Pacific Railroad – A Bullet Left Lodged In Milligan’s Neck.
At fifteen, what do I know or what
Should I know? I know the wind’s
Slim and the mud’s cool, as I ache
Like I never have before. As I lay
Dying? Will I be shot again and then
Again, motionless? I hear one body
Has been shot 26 times today before
They were through: a will to void
Is hardly the morning lust foreseen.
Crows caw amid distant and close
Shooting with Albert, my brother,
Hunted down, an animal in ebony
Bloom? Bearing five or six bullet
Holes – one through a fated head
Out an ear into the open fields, for
All things want to be free, free to
Rise above these bodies, shocked
And declined, lain to loom null.
The stories to pick up speed once
More bodies are counted near those
Who tell about us, the number here
Who wear the scars of history, blame,
And high lies. A soft speech to make
Up another word for how, where I
Lay among many, waiting for other
That may not happen at all, that may
Be parted by way of yet another plunge.