Heartbreak is the business of war, therefore accountants order generals to audit the cost of powder; remind them to conquer
their quavering reticence to abuse children in order to shatter the certainty of eight year olds, so the hired Hessians will pointedly
bayonet captives against trees to scrimp on shot. How glorious or dreadful it may have seemed that late August day when ten thousand
bellied sails on sloops, frigates ships-of-the- line, each rated and arrayed, entered the wide bridgeless bay shepherding merchantmen laden
with troops and supplies that overnight sprouted into a nightmare forest of bristly black masts poised to quash the rebellion. There was yet
no tired tidal canal with its ebb and flow shored between queasy green timber, salt gnawed concrete, and stones, grime stained, subverted on the tides
to collapse repeatedly into their own modest unmarked mass graves in which the accreting sediment muck continuously buries sunken
fasces of bones, stained and bundled, further from our memory, unless random emissions of methane gas interrupt the reverie of my loafing, here, on the rail.
Gerald Wagoner, (Born Pendleton, Oregon, 1947, BA creative writing U of Montana, 1970; MFA sculpture SUNY Albany, NY 1983.) has resided in Brooklyn, NY since 1983. In 1986 he became a Studio-in-a-School artist, and from 1988 to 2017 taught for the NYC Dept of Education.