Chicago - Oct. 18, 2018
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Chicagoetry: Wells At Dearborn

Wells at Dearborn

1. Alexander at Kandahar

Kandahar was founded
By Alexander the Great
During his questionable Afghan campaign,

As one of a series of fortresses established
To protect him and his armies
As he pursued the Persian Satrap Bessus.

At each of these fortresses,
Alexander left behind hundreds
Or thousands of Macedonian and Greek soldiers

As well as logistics and supply troops, builders,
Artisans, tillers, every type of worker needed
To create a real settlement.

Today, at Kandahar Air Field (KAF):

U.S. Army, Marines, Navy,
Air Force. British, Canadians, Belgians, Italians.
Mirage jets from France.

Private contractors to clean toilets, run chow halls,
Build gyms, train bomb-sniffing dogs, service the phones.
A TGI Fridays, a Nathan's, a KFC,

An ice cream stand, pizza by the slice . . .

The Greek biographer Plutarch described
The type of guerrilla-style fighting
Alexander faced during his campaign,

Comparing Afghan tribesmen
To a hydra-headed monster:
As soon as Alexander cut off one head,

Three more would grow back in its place.


2. Napoleon at Acre

Envious of Alexander, Napoleon
Impulsively extended his Egyptian campaign
Into Syria.

Unlike Alexander,
He never made Damascus.

He got bogged down at Acre,
His units overextended and
Finally overwhelmed by the

Tenacity, resourcefulness and determination
Of the Muslim guerrillas.

Finally, he bailed.
Upon his return to France,
He had his national Media declare:

"Mission Accomplished!"


3. Wells at Dearborn

During the War of 1812,
The Great White Father
Pressed the edge of the Western envelope.

Captain William Wells
Of the Legion of the United States,
Led a group of Miami Indians

From Fort Wayne, Indiana,
To aid the evacuation of Fort Dearborn,
The tiny beleaguered settlement

That eventually became Chicago,
Presently besieged by Potawatomi.
No Nathan's, No KFC, no French Mirages.

Among other Americans under siege there
Was his niece, Rebekah.

The Potawatomi
At first allowed them safe passage out,
But upon discovery

Of destroyed whiskey and guns,
They decided to attack.
Wells, himself raised by Miami Indians,

Was once their colleague.
Now, he was a traitor to them.
Knowing of the looming raid,

Wells painted his face black,
A sign of bravery and a signal
To his foes

That he knew their intent
And knew
He was going to die.

He set out on horseback
In front of the fleeing party.

The Potawatomi
Shot and killed him,
Scalped him,

Cut out his heart
And ate it.

Although considering him
An enemy, they respected
His strength and courage

And in this way
Believed they could absorb it
Into themselves.

-

J.J. Tindall is the Beachwood's poet-in-residence. He welcomes your comments. Chicagoetry is an exclusive Beachwood collection-in-progress.

-

More Tindall:

* Chicagoetry: The Book

* Ready To Rock: The Music

* The Viral Video: The Match Game Dance



Permalink

Posted on July 15, 2018


MUSIC - Holiday Hullabaloo.
TV - WFLU-TV.
POLITICS - Bank Profits Soaring.
SPORTS - Chicago vs. Michigan, 1903.

BOOKS - Dia De Los Muertos Stories.

PEOPLE PLACES & THINGS - Chicagoetry: West Town Blues.


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