The walk home was long
across a landscape devastated
destroyed afraid and he found
himself having to beg because
his money was considered
counterfeit worthless confederate.
The walk from Appomattox
to Brookhaven took eight months
through the winter, and arriving,
finally, he found the family
gone, others claiming the homestead,
land fallow, little growing. Told to go
west, he crossed the Mississippi
and the Red, to find his way
to east Texas, largely spared if
occupied. The family, operating
a general store in a nameless time,
farmers become shopkeepers,
and they didn’t know him.
He was 17.
Photograph by Karen Arnold via Public Domain Pictures. Used with permission.