Come to the Bower
Battle of San Jacinto, April 21, 1836
Will you come to the bower I have shaded for you?
That was the song all four knew
after they tried “Yankee Doodle”—
the German from Aachen who blew the fife;
the black freedman who banged the drum;
the two Kentuckians in Sherman’s riflemen,
one who sawed a fiddle,
the other who wheezed on a mouth harp.
Our bed shall be roses all spangled with dew.
Houston smiled as they struck up the tune
when the thousand- yard line of Texians
crested the rise and Hockley fired
the Twin Sisters, blowing a hole
in the Mexican barricade. The four played on.
There under the bower on roses you’ll lie . . .
Sherman shouted his own lyrics,
“Remember the Alamo! Remember Goliad!
Remember the Alamo!” and the song
was joined by his screaming riflemen,
by Lamar’s horsemen, by Seguin’s Tejanos,
by Burleson’s First Regiment.
With a blush on your cheek but a smile in your eye.
Twenty yards from the barricade,
Texas rifles joined the crescendo,
in moments the cymbal clang
of bayonets and Bowie knifes.
Within minutes, the battle was won;
only sad strangled verses
in Spanish encored.
Chupacabra Occupies Wall Street
Out of deference to his colleagues
he does not eat them. Also, they are
too much like sharks, frenzied on blood
even more than he. Instead, when the sun
dips beyond Hoboken and the coin
of the moon repeats itself every ripple
of the East River, he strolls from the Exchange,
up Broadway, past Union Square, debates
catching the fights at the Garden,
continues on Sixth Avenue into Central Park.
In the City, with his dark hoodie
and Reboks, claws piercing the nylon,
he goes unnoticed. At the park
he searches for food, first around
the Lake, but there are only geese
and deformed bullfrogs, a few
homeless under the bushes, but they
are thinner than the goats of Langtry.
No goat is on the air. He retraces
his steps in deep thought as dawn
approaches, returns to his room,
puts on suite & tie, combs his hair,
and envisions his day on the floor—
colleagues and rivals, bleating
and yowping, eating labels off tin cans,
and he smiles for breakfast.
Clarence Wolfshohl lives with his writing, two dogs and one cat in a nine-acre woods outside of Fulton, Missouri. In late 2014, his chapbook Equus Essence was published online by Right Hand Pointing ), and most recently his print chapbook Chupacabra by El Grito del Lobo Press (2015).